High Demand for “Robotics Skills” in Post-Corona Recovery

August 6, 2020 Tiera Oliver

By 2022, an operational stock of almost 4 million industrial robots are expected to work in factories worldwide. These robots will play a role in automating production to speed up the post-Corona economy. At the same time, robots are driving demand for skilled workers. Educational systems must adjust to this demand, says the International Federation of Robotics.

According to the “automation readiness index” published by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), only four countries have established mature education policies to deal with the challenges of an automated economy. South Korea is the category leader, followed by Estonia, Singapore, and Germany. Countries like Japan, the US, and France are developed, and China was ranked as emerging. The EIU summed up the order of the day for governments: more study, multi-stakeholder dialogue and international knowledge sharing.

How to change hiring

On a company level, change hiring is an option as a short-term strategy: “If you can´t find the experienced people, you have to break down your hiring practices to skill sets and not titles,” advised Dr. Byron Clayton, as CEO of Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) at the IFR Roundtable in Chicago. “You have to hire more for potential. If you can´t find the person who is experienced, then you have to find a person that has potential to learn that job.”

Education of the workforce

Robot suppliers support the education of the workforce with practice-oriented training. “Re-training the existing workforce is only a short-term measure. We must already start way earlier – curriculum for schools and undergraduate education need to match the demand of the industry for the workforce of the future. Demand for technical and digital skills is increasing, but equally important are cognitive skills like problem-solving and critical thinking,” says Dr. Susanne Bieller, IFR´s General Secretary. “Economies must embrace automation and build the skills required to profit - otherwise they will be at a competitive disadvantage.”

IFR Executive Round Table - December 8–11– 2020 automatica in Munich

The topic “Next Generation Workforce - Upskilling for Robotics" will be discussed by the IFR Executive Round Table on December 9 at the world’s leading trade fair for smart automation and robotics “automatica” in Munich.  

For more information, visit: https://www.ifr.org/

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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