Automation and digital advances will create better jobs in UK manufacturing but low-skilled workers need retraining into better roles to avoid job losses.
A third of UK manufacturers expect some low skilled jobs to be lost over the next five years as a result of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital technologies. But over half of companies (54%) say they will up-skill these workers to take the jobs that these new technological advances are going to create.
More than two thirds of manufacturers plan to spend some of their training budget over the next 12 months on technical engineering skills. Some of this will go on providing apprenticeships, which almost eight in ten employers currently offer, but the rest will be aimed at those existing employees who need to continuously up-skill for manufacturers to take best advantage of 4IR and the income boosts it can bring.
This is where the Government’s new National Retraining Scheme will come into play, but there needs to be some adjustment to the current trial specifications to make it properly effective for those workers who need that help.