Is it just me or is everybody getting older? Of course, as each day passes, all who exist are one day older. But its not just a rhetorical question. What I mean is that there seems to a definite aging of our industry. Looking around at an industry gathering recently, there were a lot of grey heads present, me included. People, mainly men, of middle age and above predominated.
Is this a clue to what’s happening in our industry? Are we recruiting enough young people into the world of manufacturing and, in particular, that of measurement, test and inspection? Anecdotal evidence suggest we are not. Speak to any company supplying products or services in these key areas and, typically, they will decry the skills shortage - that it’s very difficult to find people with the right combination of skills. The result is that one company’s recruitment success robs another of a valued, and difficult to replace, team member. The pool of available talent is growing older and shrinking as time passes. Clearly, more must be done by the industry itself if it is not to run into major problems in a few years time. But what initiatives should be made and whose responsibility is it to drive them? Yet again that apocalyptical quote from Deming may spur action here, “Survival is not mandatory!”