Bringing Jobs and Bridging the Skills Gap with Automation
Anti-robot sentiments are not unheard of, in fact a lot of robot apocalypse fear and finger pointing (at robots) has ensued. Change is a scary thing to face; a disruption of the norm. Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA says, “If we focus on our fears, we will miss the opportunities.”
The growth in robotics is opening many new job opportunities for people who can program, install, run, and maintain robots. Automation is helping to save and create jobs.
Jeff Burnsetein of RIA and Ritch Ramey from RAMTEC at Tri-Rivers Career Center presented in front of Congress last week to help continue the dialogue for filling the gaps associated with robot automation. It was a valuable discussion with encouraging information to continue forward into the future of automation.
The graph below was provided during the presentation. It speaks for itself- as industrial robots are made, shipped, and put to work, the unemployment rate continues to decrease.
McKinsey and Company wrote an Executive Summary titled “Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation.” The worst-case scenario by 2030 is that 800 million jobs are displaced globally by automation, 890 million jobs created.
From the beginning of time, technological advances have changed the nature of jobs. From the railroad to the computer, these jobs have evolved. Technology’s constantly evolving history has shown that success is driven by dynamic innovations and constant change that liberate humans from back breaking and time-consuming labor. During the agricultural evolution, Americans were able to pursue a wide range of advanced jobs off the farm. The internet has vastly benefited and connected the world while also creating millions of jobs for Americans alone.
This job liberation and evolution is providing for more time and investment in new ideas and companies for the future. It is important to adapt and evolve with the times. These times are showing automation is the key to help industries stay competitive on a global level. “The inability to compete is the biggest threat to jobs, not automation,” says Burnstein.
Automation has allowed and encouraged companies to expand their capabilities, reduce costs, and increase production. This can help businesses continually enter new markets, generate profits, bring in additional investments, and stay competitive on a global scale. Automation also supports the entire supply chains and community.
Addressing the Skills Gap
While automation is important, skilled workers continue to be key to manufacturers’ success. It is important to keep companies competitive by training workers in the right fields to bridge the gap needed to automate manufacturing processes.
What is the skills gap? As automation continues to increase and spread across the globe, it will continue to produce necessary jobs to keep systems running. Currently there is not enough hands-on learning opportunities that incorporate real-world automation systems being used in industry. The learning curve is still significant for graduates entering the workplace.
This means there is an estimated 2.0 million jobs that will be unfulfilled due to the skills gap.
RAMTEC stands for Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative, it is the world’s top recognized robotics certification.
RAMTEC helps prepare people of all ages for the future that will consist of intelligent machines, connected systems, and necessary people to help operate robotics. Its goal is to help close the skills gap in automation by bringing hands-on learning to students of all skill levels, showing them how to best operate and evolve with the robotics revolution.
“It’s important that kids start understanding the concept of robotics,” says Ritch Ramey, RAMTEC Engineering Coordinator. “We’re going to see it expand probably tenfold in the use of robots over the next 15 to 20 years. They should at least know the basics of robotics.”
In the graph below you can see the continued growth of exposure to automation for students of all ages, thanks to RAMTEC.
Knowing the basics of robotics will be extremely helpful and beneficial. Students can practice using the mobile education carts and large payload robots. Most of the training is done on a teach pendant, which is rare and a huge advantage when compared to all other robotic education options. Students can also learn to design and engineer new systems for manufacturing customers at RAMTEC.
“Our students have to do exactly what the industry people do,” says Ramey, an instructor. “The same amount of time, same assignments, same e-learning, and same tests to get their credentialing.”
Additionally, students will learn the necessary building blocks for future engineers or robotics technicians, such as robotic welding, PLCs hydraulics, pneumatics, CNCs,computer-aided design, 3D printing, and expected to be added soon are vision and the Cisco platform.
As you can see, RAMTEC is doing an incredible job of keeping up with the quickly advancing and inter-connected industrial world. RAMTEC hopes to continue extending its locations, bringing advanced manufacturing and robotics exposure to kids of all ages.
Meanwhile, the robots are continuing to take over the hard work and proving that automation innovations can indeed represent new and continual job creation.
If you are interested in learning more about robots, contact RobotWorx, a certified integrator for FANUC, Motoman, KUKA, Universal Robots, and ABB. Our staff will work with you to help you design and build the best robotic system for you and your facility.