We are often told that millions of jobs will be lost to automation in the coming years, but the real impact depends on how we manage the transition. It has the potential to create more economic opportunities, promote a regionalized manufacturing model, and provide rewarding career pathways for a more diverse workforce.
To fully realize these potential benefits, public and private sectors must collaborate to overhaul the labour market, empowering workers to succeed in a digital, knowledge-based economy.
- Our responsibility is not to protect the jobs that machines can do better, but to prepare the labour force for the kind of work that is likely to be required.
- We must invest in people by providing training they need to succeed in this new landscape.
Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies have been available to industry for decades, but the business case for them has only gained traction more recently. This is due to the declining cost of robotics and the rise of big data, greater computing power, and machine learning.
Across industries, the mass adoption of automation will lead to production becoming more agile, cost-effective, and higher yield. By filling the jobs created by automation, employers can level the playing field for people with disabilities and other disadvantages. For example, the use of robotics can eliminate the “ability to lift” requirement, making a job more accessible.
As we adopt more advanced technologies and techniques, businesses and governments must work together to transform the workforce and promote job creation. Digital transformations in the manufacturing industry and beyond present incredible opportunities for workers to move from slow, repetitive tasks into more dynamic, rewarding roles.
We must now invest in people by providing training they need to succeed in this new landscape. As productivity increases, we can empower workers and create an increasingly dynamic, digital world in which people and machines work together.