Before changes in production processes brought by productive systems automation and Industry 4.0, companies in the manufacturing sector have had to implement changes to improve their competitiveness, which include not only the technology they use but also workforce and kind of training required to keep its efficiency.

Jobs generated by the manufacturing sector are very important for the entity.  According to statistics of the Ministry of Economy and Labor in Nuevo Leon, more than 28 % of the workers are employees from the industrial sector and 35 % are professionals, technicians or administrative, from which 22 % performs in the manufacturing area, 3 % construction and 1 % in extractive and electricity industry.  Only from April 2018 to March 2019, the transformation industry created 17,760 new jobs in Nuevo Leon.

The last National Survey of Occupation and Employment from INEGI say that until April 2018, in Nuevo Leon, the manufacturing sector has employ about 566,863 people, what represents 72 % of the 786,109 jobs generated by secondary economic activities in this period.

Nuevo Leon is one of the States of the country that has qualified workforce that thanks to its history and development as Mexico industrial polo and to the different high level universities in the entity.

One of the tools that had helped encouraging professionals preparation in the implementation of the Mexican Model of Dual Formation (MMDF) an educational modality recognized by the Ministry of Education where learning is given on an alternation space between the company and the educational system; the company integrates as a training agent for obtaining a professional title.

MMFD seeks the development of professional skills, generic and discipliners aiming to achieve a comprehensive education.  MMFD has already been implemented nationwide and is supported by the Business Coordinating Council (CCE, by its Spanish initials,) the German-Mexican Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CAMEXA, by its Spanish initials) and the Ministry of Public Education (SEP, by its Spanish initials.)


Luis Mercado, human resources director for Latin America in Owens Corning, said that the working personal must be trained in technical skills, depending of the product to be manufactured on each company.

“In our case, it is about isolating material and fiberglass component, then the process is much automated, but the technical part, machines, and the packaging part, are part manual, it has to do with the skills we look for in a company, such as technical skills and work stability,” he added.

Regarding the arrival and application of Industry 4.0 to the Mexican manufacturing sector, Mercado explained that the next thing for the human resources area are new learning methodologies, as shorter micro-training on floor, self-learning, development and methodology of processes discovery.

“Methodologies change.  You have Kaizenes, Lean, TPMS, but what is behind is how you help people in settling that learning process is important.  We have to see trends and execute them as of today,” he added.

Meanwhile, Luis Acosta, human resources manager at Cuprum, Division Escaleras, assured that 70 % of learning and the development goes with practical experiences, therefore he considered very important to encourage people to work although they make mistakes, as they will learn from them and will continue with its development process.

“It is no longer necessary to be 16 hours on a classroom to learn.  Learning is also given through experiences, methods that are at hand and of course, companies have to provide a platform in order for each employee can learn according to their development process,” he noted.

Acosta added that another important aspect for the Industry in Nuevo Leon is talent retaining, as according to a recent study from advisory SH de Mexico, there is a turnover level of almost 17 % in the country, which can be very expensive for % of companies, as replacing an employee can represent an expense equivalent to 35 % of the salary per year of the position to be filled.

“What we do in Cuprum is showing flexible labor environments, collaborative spaces, networking processes among people and not to forget basic things as recognition schemes, knowing what people expects, listen their recommendations and petitions to act accordingly,” he noted.

Regarding the status of Nuevo Leon globally concerning the development of industrial talent, the directive assured that it is not that far from other countries; however, he added that it is about a cultural aspect, if companies do not update and are not in line with the environment, sooner or later the staff will stop feeling motivated.

“I can say Nuevo Leon has developed a high industrial and productive activity and must be in a very competitive process to be able to keep people at the required competition level,” he noted.
Finally, Luis Mercado added that HR trends are focusing on changing traditional methods, taking development processes not only vertical but of learning.

“Another trend is to provide communication, openness and also the use of technologies to align ourselves is very important.  The technological part in human resources is basic to be according to all changes coming with industry 4.0 in a short term.  We have to see hard data to take advantage of technology and prepare the organization for future needs, preparing long term and executing necessary changes at the same time,” he ended.