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Industry 4.0 will create 13,000 jobs by 2030

“35% of jobs highly likely to be automated,” says head of report presented on Wednesday

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25 April 2018 02:23 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Digital industry will create approximately 13,000 new jobs by 2030 in Catalonia, according to a report presented on Wednesday by the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge.

According to Joan Miquel Hernández, head of business development, the introduction of digitization into Catalan industry would be “positive,” but he warned that “35% of jobs are highly likely to be automated.”

What is industry 4.0?

The impact of the arrival of industry 4.0 will be uneven and depend on each specific sector. This is the so-called fourth industrial revolution, one of the latest trends in automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. A true sign of the times, it includes cloud computing, cognitive computing, robotics, and the Internet of Things at the workplace.

It can already be seen in operation at an Amazon logistics centre in Catalonia, where 3,000 robots work alongside people dealing with packing, moving, and shipping goods bought through the online vendor.

Pros and cons of the fourth industrial revolution

According to the government report, the service sector will benefit from the incorporation of industry 4.0, but digitization of the sector will bring about a decline in employment.

Hernández stated that the automotive sector is currently leading in digitization in the country. He emphasized the importance of training in order to adapt to the changing times, but said that it is “inevitable” for workers to be “expelled” from the labour market

Jobs with the least risk of becoming automated are those that depend on three variables: social, creative intelligence, and work in disordered environments. These include doctors, dietitians, psychologists, and teachers. Jobs that are more likely to be automated, on the other hand, include photographic lab operators and legal assistants.

Radical changes

Hernández said that industry 4.0 “represents a radical change.” Due to its arrival, companies will look for new “profiles” when hiring employees. According to the report, certain skills will be especially important, such as emotional, creative, and social intelligence.

Workers replaced by automation

It was highlighted that all industrial revolutions have been accompanied by “the fear of workers losing their jobs.”

At the report’s presentation, Hernández maintained that those most at risk are “poorly qualified and underpaid.”

In the face of the future, the report points out that training must be promoted in order to facilitate the “transition” of human capital to new models introduced by industry 4.0. This would prevent people being “expelled” from the labour market due to digitization.

New mechanisms

This hypothetical expulsion could lead to greater social inequality. This opens the “debate on the implementation of new mechanisms to fight against inequality,” such as a universal guaranteed income, said Hernández.

Also known as a basic income, this is a welfare program in which citizens receive enough money to live off from the government on a regular basis.

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  • Robots at work at Amazon logistics centre in Castellbisbal (by ACN)

  • Robots at work at Amazon logistics centre in Castellbisbal (by ACN)