Manufacturers spend billions to train employees as worker shortage looms

About 2.4 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled between 2018 and 2028

As millions of manufacturing jobs are expected to be left unfilled over the next decade, companies in the sector are spending big to train both prospective and current employees.

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A new study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute – a partner of the National Association of Manufacturers – found that more than 43 percent of companies are increasing workforce levels, while more than 79 percent of manufacturing companies are working on increasing training efforts for their workers.

And companies are willing to spend on those training efforts.

Last year, the sector spent $26.2 billion on internal and external training programs for both current and new employees, researchers found.

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In terms of time, new employees received an average of nearly 43 hours of in-house and external training, while existing employees received about 27.7 hours.

The most popular training programs included internal technical programs, on-the-job programs and external training.

The Manufacturing Institute previously found that about 2.4 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled between 2018 and 2028, with a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, the ISM manufacturing index fell in December for the fifth month in a row to a reading of 47.2. Not only does that indicate a contraction, it is also the weakest reading since June 2009.

However, on a positive note for the sector, two new trade deals could lead to a pick up in activity. President Trump signed a phase one trade deal with China this week, while the Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

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