factory workers
Image: © National Maritime Museum via Flickr

It’s just not cool to work in a factory anymore

We still think of it as a job our grandparents did – but manufacturers need millennials, the FT reports

Working in a factory could earn you a six-year salary within the first few years of your career... but it's just not cool.

What it means: Factories in the US are having a tough time attracting younger workers, who've been told by 'the system' that going to college and doing an office job = success.

It's a cultural thing: as the US chief of German company ThyssenKrupp pointed out to the FT, engineers earn a $50,000 starting salary after 5 years of study, while welders can earn $85,000 without the college debt: and yet training as an engineer is still seen as more successful.

We're also not learning the skills at school which would prepare us for these jobs anymore: things like welding, or carpentry.

It's a problem not just because young people could be earning more, faster, but because there aren't enough people to fill the manufacturing jobs that need doing. Half of manufacturing workers are 45 or older, a third are over 55. There are two jobs available for every hire made.

Companies are doing what they can to improve the image of their industry, offering apprenticeships in 'digifacturing', or data-driven manufacturing.

Read the full story: Financial Times

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