There has been much talk about automation over the last few years and the risk of jobs being replaced by Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) and robots. Whilst this has a great Science Fiction ring to it, conjuring up images of a world run by machines and altering our perceptions of reality, the truth may indeed be much more straightforward…
Taking manufacturing as an example, we are likely to see unprecedented change in what a factory of the future looks like and what the workforce itself looks like as well.
Technology may be advancing faster than has ever been experienced before, but it has been suggested that it is likely to create more jobs than it displaces. In fact, according to a report by the World Economic Forum, there is an expectation that AI could create 130 million jobs worldwide, which is more than twice the amount of jobs expected to be displaced. The real challenge is in the types of job that will be created and the skill levels of the workforce available.
Factories will be significantly more automated, which will vastly reduce the requirement for lower skilled labour, and instead we will require a workforce with more technical and analytical skills. Unfortunately, there aren’t currently enough people with these expertise within the marketplace, hence there is a requirement to train and upskill those working across the industry, and prepare employees of the future to be able to carry out these roles. The education system will play an enormous part in this, but also current employers should be planning what their workforce needs to look like and recruit and train continuously to achieve that goal.
If management can include this within their strategic plans it will help them to maximize the opportunities that will undoubtedly be presented, as well as mitigate any risks that arise.
If you would like to find out more about how Armstrong Watson may be able to help, please contact our manufacturing team.
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