Manufacturing skills data for 2018 identifies increased skill levels in U.S.

This could mark the first time in 19 years that average assessment scores have increased in two out of three consecutive years.

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Scientific Management Techniques, a global leader in Manufacturing Skill Assessments and Training, reports an increase in skill assessment scores in 2018. Should the data remain at this level for the balance of the year, this will mark the first time in nineteen years that average assessment scores have increased in two out of three consecutive years.  After trending in a narrow range for twenty-eight years, manufacturing skill assessment scores began a prolonged decline in 1999.

Scientific Management Techniques’ (SMT) Hands-On Competency-Based assessment programs measure the skill level of the manufacturing workforce in 46 countries. The assessment machines are used in the hiring process, for internal promotions and to identify/measure skill gaps of the incumbent workforce. With the skills gap analysis, SMT delivers highly targeted skill training programs.

“The manufacturing skills shortage has driven an increased demand for the ability to identify ‘Mechanical Aptitude’ in entry level staff that have no prior training or manufacturing experience,”  reports SMT’s CEO Stephen Berry. “Given the current state of the manufacturing workforce, our clients are hiring more entry level staff today than any other time in the last 46 years. The Standard Timing Model (mechanical skills assessment machine) identifies multiple levels of ‘pre-existing skills’ for experienced applicants and incumbents, and also ‘Aptitude’ in individuals that have no previous manufacturing experience or training. Mechanical Aptitude translates directly into trainability. As such, assessing entry level staff for mechanical aptitude dramatically decreases turnover. Individuals possessing mechanical aptitude assimilate training efficiently and become productive members of the workforce quickly.”

Scientific Management Techniques’ Hands-On Competency-Based skill assessment programs identify and measure the skills required to Operate, Maintain and Troubleshoot a modern manufacturing facility. The company has over four decades of manufacturing skill assessment data, identifying and measuring skills for multiple competencies and categories. SMT delivers five hands-on assessment programs; Mechanical Skills, Electrical, Programmable Logic Control, Process Control and CNC skill assessments.

“The current increase in assessment scores is a welcome positive development,” states SMT’s Founder & Chairman Emeritus Richard Whouley. “Time will tell if we have turned the corner on Manufacturing Skills in the USA or if the magnitude of the problem has simply slowed or stopped growing. For the first three quarters of 2018 assessment scores have increased in 33 states.”

Scientific Management Techniques is a global leader in hands-on industrial skills assessments and industrial skills training. SMT’s manufacturing skill solutions are currently deployed in 46 countries. The skills training curriculum trains the critical hard skills required to operate, maintain and troubleshoot an industrial facility. Their hands-on manufacturing skills assessment machines and assessment protocols are used to identify and measure industrial skills; Mechanical, Electrical, PLC, CNC and Process Control Skills. Many organizations assess their incumbent workforce and deliver targeted training based on the assessment data.


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