New Generation Manufacturing Leaders


To promote manufacturing as a meaningful, lasting and future focused career choice for younger generations - and help narrow the existing talent gap.


The search for talent – ranked as the number one driver of manufacturing competitiveness by global industry executives – is at a pivot point. In 10 years, there could be a global human talent shortage of 85 million people. In manufacturing, which accounts for

22% of global employment, this is due to: the retirement of baby boomers (in the US, more than 2.6 million baby boomers are expected to retire from manufacturing jobs over the next decade); a misperception that manufacturing is not a fulfilling career choice (nearly half of parents think it is not an engaging, challenging or exciting profession for their children); and shifting skill sets due to the introduction of advanced technologies in industrial environments. 

As such, manufacturers must treat recruitment and retention of talent as a strategic business priority – and this increasingly relies on drawing millennials (those born between 1981-1996) and Generation Z (those born 1997 and after) to become productive, enduring contributors to the industry.

Within the framework of the Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production, the World Economic Forum is creating a new community consisting of talented young manufacturing leaders who display a commitment to the advancement of manufacturing and whose work embodies the ideal that a career in manufacturing is rewarding, inspiring and valuable to the global economy.

The community engages in the Platform’s work and agenda to shape new ideas to promote and champion manufacturing to younger generations. They provide thought leadership and insights into the vital role of millennials and Generation Z in digital transformation, and take part in key projects and initiatives related to the community’s mission.

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