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For the past few years, industry analysts have been talking about the need for fabricators to “upskill” their employees to be ready for the technologies of tomorrow. The Smart factory and Industry 4.0—not to mention the ramping-up of AI—are just a few reasons that your staff members really need to be continuing their education throughout their careers.
But upskilling is more than a fancy-sounding idea. In today’s labor market, fabrication management may not have any other alternatives than to make the best of the employees they have right now. That, and pray that none of the subject matter experts retire in the meantime.
It's certainly a good time to be adding tools to your toolbox of skills. As the Smart factory and Industry 4.0 lead the drive to replace more humans with technology, the need for humans who are trained to manage AI-optimized systems will increase exponentially. A lot of the software used to fabricate and assemble PCBs contains AI or machine learning—it just operates in the background, learning as it works.
But what's the best way to upskill your employees? Several managers we spoke with said that they don’t have time to take staff off the shop floor for training sessions. Your best bet is to incentivize employees to continue their education and training on their own time, but how do you make that happen?
This is advice you’ll turn to again and again.