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Wanted in the industry: skills of the future

Technical skills are essential in the machine industry, but are there any other skills the manufacturing company of the future would include in a job advertisement? ‘Make it in Belgium’ searched for the answer to that question on the shop floor.

1. You have excellent people skills

Individual functions are a thing of the past. Only by working closely together, pooling expertise and sharing knowledge with everyone within your operational context can you partake in the creation of complex products and solutions. Your strengths: you understand the ‘language’ everyone on your team speaks, and you are able and not afraid to communicate.

2. You are digitally-minded

Digital is the new normal. People, machines and objects are connected, through the ‘Internet of Things’, for example (read more on page 24), and sectors are also increasingly interconnected. If you can see how things are (virtually) linked and spot business opportunities in the complex realm of ‘big data’, you definitely have an advantage.

3. Your motto is ‘close to the customer’

A close relationship with a customer you barely see or speak to? Even though it may seem like an impossible task, it is part and parcel of working in a manufacturing company. The ability to design and create highly complex products quickly and to the customers’ specifications is the key to a competitive, future-proof manufacturing industry. You can only pull this off if you fully understand the needs of your customer and the end-user.

4. Safety is second nature to you

Never before has working safely been more relevant. Smart machines are sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms to make sure you can and will work in the safest conditions. Likewise, in the field of data management, you need the knowledge and skills to guarantee the protection of sensitive data and privacy. This applies to both the information circulating inside your company and that of the end-user of your product.

5. You are an entrepreneur in the broadest sense of the word

For you, harnessing your own talent and those of your teammates in order to work in an enterprising way is an absolute must. You will not rest until you have answered this key question: ‘How can we pool the unique skills of each colleague in our team to achieve something that will help us drive our company forward?’

In short, anyone who wants to make it in the manufacturing industry has to play a multifaceted role: one for which you learn the tricks of different trades and that allows you to use your multidisciplinary skills to help shape the manufacturing company of tomorrow.