Falling unemployment and the effect this will have on manufacturing businesses.
Falling unemployment globally is becoming a big challenge for all businesses, as the labour pool is shrinking by the day!
In the UK alone unemployment has been falling steadily for the past few years. It is currently at around 4%, which is half of what it was in 2010! This is more than just a fluctuation in statistics, as unemployment is at its lowest point since the 1970’s.
More than half of companies in the USA are struggling to fill vacancies within 3 months! The global talent shortage is a brewing storm, with predictions of a shortfall of over 80 million skilled workers (greater than the current population of Germany) within 12 years from now.
Companies that are prepared to make changes, will have a competitive advantage in the not-so-far-future. This will include upskilling existing labour and recruiting and upskilling oncoming generations of workers as well as finding ways to reduce their dependence on skilled labour.
This is where the rise of automation within the manufacturing environment comes into play. Stretched workforces can be relieved of repetitive and time-consuming tasks by using automation. Tasks that are unpleasant, exhausting or unsafe for human workers can be easily and safely carried out by automated systems. The concept of an interconnected robotic workforce is described as Industry 4.0 or the 4th Industrial Revolution! We cover this subject in more detail in our blog on “What could the future look like for manufacturing businesses?”
If many manufacturing tasks can be automated, this will mean that staff have more time to spend on things that matter. Instead of needing a production team of 20 staff, with automation, this can be cut to a team of 3, who just need to be there to ensure that the automations run smoothly.
Existing staff can be up-skilled and can move on to different roles within the business helping to alleviate the talent shortage.