Ageing and Rejuvenating
Most maintenance managers are faced with ageing employees. The average age of technical service departments is often somewhat higher than the rest of the company and many employees will retire between now and 10 years. But it is not easy to just replace the older people with young recruits.
Fewer people go to professional technical colleges than in the past, decreasing the flow of young technicians onto the labour market. This means that the search for young technical talent needs to intensify, because of the number of companies all having their eyes on the smaller group of potentials. Your organisation will feel the effect in the imbalance between intake and outflow of technical employees.
Theory and practice
Aside from the decreasing intake of new employees the maintenance manager faces another challenge. This is the difference in technical education and the often more specialist practice. Employees who just graduated have mostly general knowledge of technical disciplines, and maintenance management is more concerned with technical specialities. Education is broader than that, covering all basic skills and technical disciplines. For maintenance managers this means that they will often not be able to engage specialists but rather people with a basic knowledge of technology, whose education and training will have to continue in-company.
More generally: it is increasingly important to retain and manage technical knowledge. A maintenance manager is challenged to consider the way knowledge is transferred, to retain the knowledge or to increase it.