Plugging the IoT skills gap before it’s too late

It’s no secret that the Internet of Things is becoming increasingly important across a wide range of manufacturing areas, from automotive to electronics. But how prepared is your business in ensuring your staff have the right skills to perform?

IoT Internet of Things
Some of the common manufacturing use cases of IoT include: predictive maintenance, augmented reality (AR), additive manufacturing, autonomous robots, and analytics.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way the manufacturing industry works, and many manufacturers have already invested in IoT initiatives which have seen them increase their revenues by 28.5% (Tata Consultancy Survey, 2014).

Some of the common manufacturing use cases of IoT include: predictive maintenance, augmented reality (AR), additive manufacturing, autonomous robots, and analytics.

There are many different elements to think about when implementing IoT technology, including the technological difficulty in integrating IoT into your existing systems, the threat hacking may pose and therefore the cybersecurity surrounding your systems, and the predicament on how to prove ROI to justify the associated financial outlays.

However, one of the main challenges business leaders should think about, which is often overlooked, is the human element: both how your staff interact with the technology and get the most from it, alongside what new skills your staff will require to ensure that you are running the technology efficiently.

What overarching key skills that are required?

  • Analytical skills to analyse the data that is produced by smart manufacturing systems and IoT devices
  • Decision-making skills that are needed to turn these analytics into meaningful actions
  • Technological skills that are required to set-up and maintain the new systems.

However, there are a multitude of specific skills for each of these areas dependent on the exact technology used.

The skills gap is currently widening as firms struggle to train current staff and find new staff with these relevant skills. Although there are many initiatives to tackle this, including government initiatives like apprenticeships and academic reform, and upskilling current staff when suitable programmes become available, these can sometimes come too late for many manufacturing businesses looking to gain a competitive edge and make the transition now.

This is where a workforce partner can provide both significant insights into the specific technological, digital, and manufacturing skills required to inform training initiatives, but also act as a direct recruitment partner, sourcing the specific skills that may be required immediately from other talent pools only available to them.

Choosing the correct suppliers is critical to ensuring your talent pipeline have the correct skills. One such provider is NES Global Talent, who not only have decades of experience in manufacturing recruitment, partnering with some of the leading businesses across the UK, but also have a dedicated digital and technology team. These two teams create a partnership to recruit for many emerging roles emanating from the rise of smart manufacturing.