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In 2020, “talent risk” jumped from a minor concern to the No. 1 threat to long-term growth during COVID-19, while less than one-third of manufacturing CEOs were prioritizing investment in workforce skills, according to other KPMG surveys.

Nearly 40% of manufacturing CEOs in the 2021 KPMG CEO Outlook Pulse Survey report that they are “investing in digital training, development and upskilling to ensure employees’ skills remain future-focused.”

For example, in the finance function, data and analytics skills, technical workers who are experienced in business modeling, and process designers will become more prevalent.

It also cited the case of one global high-tech manufacturer that built “an enterprise-wide capability in workforce shaping to address numerous challenges including the impacts of AI and related technologies atomizing the workplace.”

To drive growth and value for investors and shareholders, leaders in the manufacturing industry will need to take proactive steps to balance performance enhancements from technology with the need to develop a performance-driven and technologically savvy workforce.

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