Future generation manufacturing procedures and robotics influenced by industry 4.0 have stimulated the demand for increased preparedness within employees in various developed countries. Presently, two out of every citizen in these countries agrees that the industry lacks sufficient workforce with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) proficiency.
This has created a switch towards an aggressive attitude to education with the aim of sufficiently filling over 3 million jobs in the manufacturing industry by the end of the next decade.
Studies, however, indicate that more than half of these jobs will not be filled due to unavailability of adequate skills. There is a lot that companies can do to fill this skill void as seen below.
Emphasize on robotic automation
Many employees perceive robots to be machines that will take up their jobs and replace them which is far from the truth. Universal Robots reports that up to 88,000 mechatronics and robotics jobs will be available by the end of the next decade.
In order to forge towards a manufacturing future where humans and machine will collaborate with contemporary technology to generate more value-added goods and products, the educational system must adopt robotic automation as its fundamental focus.
These include artificial intelligence, big data, and additive manufacturing, and industrial internet of things. Therefore, every skill set should target the robotics concept.
Establish different basic proficiency sets
Currently, there is a shift in job definitions, and methodologies and innovations are changing the basic proficiency sets required to execute industrial tasks. The popularity of the industrial robot arm witnessed in the last decade has stimulated the need for the availability of exclusive job responsibilities.
These include robotic automation engineers and robotics coordinators. The education training system should demonstrate currently emerging procedures and technologies in order to preserve an efficient workforce.
Additionally, educational courses should target proficiency sets that aid sustenance of careers in developing fields which includes collaborative robotics, robotic welding, robot programming, and vision system solutions.
Adaptable concept to information sharing & technology implementation
Players in the education sector are championing for the introduction of science, technology, engineering, and math affiliated curriculum right from the elementary level, some, however, are not prepared to sustain the increasing demand for proficient employees in the next 10 years.
Players from both the education and technology sectors need to collaborate in order to back training efforts sufficiently across all grade levels. Modern-day innovations not only need to be tracked, but they should also be monitored and ingrained in the learning environment in a more adaptable way.
The curriculum needs to be updated regularly to demonstrate current and advanced technology while giving instructors the tools they require to adequately prepare their students for the future.
Uphold soft proficiency training
As science, technology, engineering, and math affiliated opportunities and education becomes more popular, other proficiencies need not be ignored. Automation demands human intelligence, creativity, and judgment, skills that only a good education system can nurture.
Further, employees should be capable of conforming to challenging circumstances adequately. Proficiencies such as time management, active reasoning, and interpersonal communication will come in handy to furnish the manufacturing industry’s more realistic customer demand.
Scale up the existing workforce
Technology is evolving rapidly and many companies that have adopted advanced technology such as robotic arm automation should consider scaling up employee skills and talents by re-deploying them to other tasks within the manufacturing facility.
Taking existing employees for refresher robot proficiency training can help the company conform better to the increasing complexity in the manufacturing industry. This will eventually constitute a competitive edge.
Companies can develop a concrete workforce by supporting robotics events and competitions. Some Robot manufacturers such as Universal Robots often partner with various players in the industry and sponsor various robotic related events across the region. With the increasing automation, robotics, and the demand for proficient workforce in coding, supporting exciting and educational events can come in handy in encouraging technology-related studies to students from an early age.