The tight labor market being felt across the economy is expected to extend into 2022. While the challenges created by current conditions are not unique to Mauser Packaging Solutions or our industry, we seek to overcome these challenges through proactive methods of attracting and training employees who will help us continue to grow globally. Investments in training and development of our team is a crucial piece in Mauser Packaging Solutions’ plans for operational and financial growth.
The struggle to find skilled workers for advanced manufacturing facilities is not new. A 2018 study conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute estimated that 2.4 million job openings in manufacturing—accounting for half of all open positions—will go unfilled between 2018 and 2028 as a direct consequence of a skills gap resulting from a generation of employees that are reaching retirement. To offset this skills gap, Mauser Packaging Solutions implemented a North American Apprenticeship program in 2019. Benchmarked on the European dual education system, this program leverages the expertise of our current employees to develop the next generation of maintenance and process technicians. While apprenticeship programs are nothing new in Europe, this is a somewhat revolutionary approach to constructing a skilled workforce in the U.S. Mauser Packaging Solutions is the largest North American based company to adopt the Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) apprenticeship program1, which is modeled on the German Dual Education System.
Mauser Packaging Solutions currently has 11 North American apprentices working in four U.S. facilities in various stages of the North American Apprenticeship Program. The first apprentices are expected to complete the program in 2022.
In 2022, we plan to have 20 apprentices in the program at 13 U.S. facilities. Additionally, there are more than 130 apprentices working and learning in our international offices and facilities. Several of our current North American apprentices recently shared their thoughts on the program in promotional videos for the ICATT program. View the videos below to hear about their experiences and learn more about the benefits of this program.
The first online module of the Frontline Leadership Training Program, focusing on the fundamentals of leadership, began in May 2021. Participants complete the module over the course of 20 weeks in groups of 14-16 leaders from across all North American divisions and from a variety of job functions. Six modules were started during 2021 with 96 leaders participating in the virtual training.
Approximately 18 additional classes of the first module will be held in 2022 and program availability will expand to better accommodate second and third shift employees by offering early morning and late afternoon class times. These additional classes offered provide opportunity for all existing supervisors to participate as well as accommodate participation for new hires or employees promoted into supervisor positions. The 2022 schedule has been distributed and facilities can register participants through their local HR representative. Additional modules and adaptation into other languages is in development and will be offered in the future.
The Frontline Leader Training Fundamentals Module covers ten learning units that help Mauser Packaging Solutions Leaders to:
- Establish and maintain leadership over former peers
- Increase employee engagement by building trusting relationship
- Use listening, praise and recognition to improve cooperation and productivity
- Address employee conflicts
- Increase individual accountability for team results
- Communicate clear directions and goals to achieve operating results
- Address performance gaps through coaching and feedback
- Adapt their communication style to the needs of each employee to ensure directions are clear and understood
- Conduct one-on-one leader and employee expectation interviews
- Administer constructive discipline