The changing dynamics of business production and global distribution, a shift in consumer demand and the emergence of new technologies, is pushing manufacturers to explore novel ways of delivering products and services.
Within this context, the landscape of manufacturing employment is changing drastically too. The numbers speak for themselves:
- A new report from Oxford Economics predicts that robots will replace 20 million manufacturing-specific jobs worldwide by 2030 – which is equivalent to 8.5% of the current global manufacturing workforce.
- According to the World Economic Forum report, robots could eliminate up to 75 million jobs across all sectors by 2022.
While other industries are beginning to experiment and adopt methods of automation, manufacturing jobs are among the most vulnerable to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
However, it is important to remember that the same research predicts robots will also create 133 million new roles.
The Secret to Hiring Skilled Employees
Attracting skilled manufacturing candidates can be a challenge -- but not impossible. Due to the unappealing nature of a lot of factory and/or manual work, global manufacturers are expected to see a potential shortage of 7.9 million workers by 2030.
Manufacturing companies, therefore, need to invest in attracting workers to the industry and showing them that manufacturing isn’t what it used to be.
The key drivers in improving "traditional" and "outdated" manufacturing processes include:
- Advanced analytics
- Cloud computing
- Modeling and simulation
- the Internet of Things (IoT)
- Optimization and predictive analytics
These manufacturing technologies and advancements in processes can attract today's younger talent.
It is also important to bear in mind that the human factor isn’t going to go away despite advancements in automation, computer driven manufacturing, data analytics, and robotics.
According to McKinsey, even companies working in sectors that are relatively straightforward to automate will still rely heavily on their human workforce until at least the middle of the century.
Thereafter, ‘real’ workers will still be needed in the manufacturing industry to manage, adapt and optimize their automated machines.
In the words of Max DePreee: “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are”.
Are you a student interested in a manufacturing degree? Check out: The Top Three Universities to Attend for a Manufacturing Engineering Degree