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In the fast-changing world of automated manufacturing there’s no denying the importance of upskilling as a strategy to empower the workforce and push industries forwards. In this blog we’ll look at the importance of upskilling within the automated manufacturing environment, highlighting the transformative potential for individuals and the wider industry.
As the leading trade association for automation suppliers and technology end users, we recognise the potential for enhanced performance through automation. Over recent years we’ve seen a significant rise in the adoption of artificial intelligence and automation technologies, with businesses realising benefits in terms of workflow streamlining, operating cost reduction, and improved customer satisfaction.
The trend looks set to continue, with the Future of Jobs Report 2023 indicating that 43% of work tasks will be automated by 2027. It’s also been predicted that 1.1 billion jobs will be radically transformed by technology over the next decade.
The adoption of automation will be key if businesses are to remain competitive. This will mean commitment to the upskilling of tomorrow’s workforce, so that they can harness technology for improved productivity and efficiency.
In making such a commitment, we can expect the realisation of PwC’s prediction that 45% of the $15.7 trillion in global economic gains made by 2030 will be the result of artificial intelligence and automation product enhancements.
The widening adoption of automation will involve the introduction of various tools and processes. However, the technological benefits will only be seen if companies are able to fill the skills gap.
There should be a commitment to reskilling, so that employees are able to adapt and fulfil new job requirements. Indeed, a McKinsey study has indicated that 375 million workers worldwide may need to switch occupations and acquire new skills by 2030.
The combination of upskilling and reskilling initiatives can act as a bridge, giving workers the expertise needed to navigate and perform at their best in the automated manufacturing environment.
This can only be achieved through the updating of learning and training initiatives, with a focus on automation and digital transformation. It will mean equipping the current and next-generation of workers with the skills to make best use of emerging technologies.
Believing that an investment in upskilling is an investment in the future, Automate UK are committed to supporting future skills training. This is reflected in our partnership with PPMA BEST, the charitable organisation with the number one aim of presenting a pathway for young people to enter and develop engineering careers within the processing and packaging, robotics, and industrial vision industries.
Offering a range of apprenticeship grants and bursaries for PPMA BEST, our career-focused organisation also has established links local schools and colleges. This presents the opportunity to engage a diverse range of young people with interactive STEM-based activities, as seen in the recent delivery of virtual STEM education days to more than 2,600 students.
Bringing years of know-how, Automate UK’s experts also present a a range of courses covering topics such as personal development, sales, marketing, technical, and regulatory requirements. It’s all part of our commitment to creating a strong community, where knowledge and expertise are shared for the best results.
Adaptability will be one of the key characteristics in the rapidly changing automated manufacturing environment. It can be cultivated in upskilling programmes, with workers gaining confidence in their ability to integrate and harness new technologies.
There is a need for workers with understanding of the AI decision making process, as well as the ability to develop and manage automation technology. There’s also likely to be an increased demand for employees who can produce governance and management tools that will work across a range of data environments.
Those employees given the opportunity of tech-focused upskilling will be empowered to think innovatively and strategically. AI and automated technologies can take on many of the repetitive and complex tasks that such workers used to be engaged in. This will free up more time for high value activities such as strategic planning and development. Forward thinking companies that embrace technology in this collaborative spirit are likely to gain a competitive edge.
The positive collaborative attitude should extend to the shared learning of digital skills. This will see workers upskilling together, engaging in industry partnerships and mentorship programmes in an environment where knowledge-sharing is actively encouraged and supported. Connections within organisations and across wider sectors will provide the opportunity for shared learning.
If they are to have the best chance of success then organisational leaders should embrace the technological opportunities. This will mean adopting a growth mindset, commiting to the development of technical skills, monitoring industry trends, and taking up-to-date training opportunities.
Upskilling programmes should also be developed to equip leaders with the strategic insights and technological understanding needed to guide their teams in the digital age.
The commitment to upskilling will be vital for individual and industry success in the age of automated manufacturing technologies. While workforces will be augmented and supported by such technologies there’s an obvious need to focus on digital training for the plugging of knowledge and skill gaps.
Leaders have a vital role to play in committing to continuous learning and remaining open to the integration of new technologies. Embracing upskilling is not just an investment in skills; it's an investment in a thriving and resilient future for the manufacturing sector.
Automate UK will drive the progress of automation technologies through continued support in developing the digitally connected workforce. Building on strong foundations, we will nurture our community through shared knowledge and expertise.
It will be a case of people and technology working in perfect harmony, with the brightest of futures for our industry and our members. Together we’ll empower the British manufacturing and automation industries.
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