MRO Magazine

VIDEO: The Skilled Labour Shortage is a Myth

September 14, 2021 | By MRO Staff

At the recent Maintenance and Reliability in a Changed World Virtual Summit 2021, a Session The Skilled Labour Shortage is a Myth was presented by Hugh Alley, Principal, Operations Excellence.

Watch the session below.

Many industry reports are commenting on a significant skilled labour shortage. Their conclusion about the solution (better skills training from education institutions) will not solve the problem. Each company has specific and specialized needs; training organizations cannot afford to create programs to support those specific needs. The market isn’t big enough.


The underlying problem is not a shortage of unskilled labour; it is that our front-line leaders – supervisors, foremen, charge hands, etc. – do not have the skills to effectively train. Without the skills to train well, companies compensate by trying to hire the skills, with limited success.

However, supervisors who can train well don’t have this problem. Supervisors need five core skills; the most common and immediate need is often the skill of instructing. For this, the best solution for most companies is the Job Instruction module from the Training Within Industry program – a proven public-domain program. In a study of 600 companies using this approach, 100% of them saw their training time go down 25%. I have worked with companies that have reduced their time to bring people up to speed by more than 60%. In the maintenance world, it brings consistency to how PM is done, increasing the speed and quality of overhauls.

When supervisors have better skills, especially in the area of instructing, you can expect the productivity of your maintenance crews and the quality of their work to go up. This can happen in a matter of a few months or even weeks. It lets your company achieve its mission.

For full information about the session, visit the event page:

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