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Digital transformation

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching into almost every aspect of our lives, it’s not surprising that recent figures show that investment in robotics has surged over the past twelve months.

Companies have implemented automation to improve safety, reduce cost, increase output, and improve quality. Opportunities for scaling robotic applications across multiple facilities, especially for larger companies, are also becoming more apparent.

In response the European Engineering Industries Association (EUnited) has looked to define the key areas that will shape the future of work.

It has looked at areas such as skills development, human-robot collaboration, the ease of machine use, initiatives especially for young people and strategies tackling demographic change, and has called for a “human-in-command approach” – robots must assist humans, not the other way round.

With 2.7 million industrial robots in use worldwide and the growing role of service robots outside factories, this move to an increasingly automated and data driven economy is going to require big changes in work arrangements that will involve employers, their workers and government.

Workers will need to be equipped with the skills and the knowledge to thrive in this new emerging economy, but is enough being done to prepare them for the seismic changes ahead?

Neil Tyler

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