Over the years, technology has slowly displaced workers in various ways, primarily through automation and the introduction of advanced machinery and software that can perform tasks more efficiently and at a lower cost than human labour.
According to a Forbes article, “85 million jobs could go unfilled globally because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them”. This can result in delays, lower output, and compromised quality. Additionally, labour shortages can impede economic growth by limiting the capacity of industries to expand and meet market demands. This displacement has led to job losses in several industries, particularly in roles that involve repetitive tasks that can be easily automated. However, the automation industry can help fill this gap in several ways:
Creation of new roles: While some jobs may be displaced, the automation industry can create new roles that require human oversight, maintenance, and management of the automated systems. This can include positions in programming, maintenance, quality control, and system supervision, which require a different set of skills that complement the capabilities of automated systems.
Skill enhancement and retraining: The automation industry can invest in training and retraining programs to help workers acquire the necessary skills to work alongside automated systems. This can involve providing education in programming, robotics, data analysis, and other technical skills that are in demand in the automated industry.
Integration of human-robot collaboration: Automation technology can be designed to facilitate human-robot collaboration, where humans and robots work together to achieve tasks more efficiently. This approach can help leverage the strengths of both humans and machines, allowing workers to focus on complex problem-solving, creativity, and decision-making, while automated systems handle repetitive and routine tasks.
Enhanced productivity and economic growth: By implementing automation technologies, industries can enhance their productivity and competitiveness, leading to overall economic growth. This growth can create new job opportunities in other sectors, helping to absorb the workforce displaced by automation.
Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation: The automation industry can foster an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation. This can lead to the creation of new businesses and industries that utilise automation technology, thereby generating additional employment opportunities for displaced workers.
Support for a transition to new sectors: The automation industry can provide support and resources for workers to transition to other sectors that are experiencing growth and demand for skilled labour. This may involve offering guidance, training, and financial assistance to help workers acquire the necessary skills for new industries and sectors.
By focusing on these strategies, the automation industry can help mitigate the negative impacts of technological displacement and create a workforce that is equipped with the skills and knowledge required to thrive in an increasingly automated world.