A new survey has highlighted that developing a skilled workforce is central to business success in the fourth industrial revolution.
Staff and management skills are more important than new machinery or software in order to adopt advances in technology, according to EEF, a trade body for manufacturers. Whilst 38 per cent of manufacturers said they will need new software, more than eight in ten firms said staff skills are key.
Steve Hill, Director of External Engagement at The Open University, www.open.ac.uk, comments:
“It is encouraging to see companies recognising that simply investing in new technologies alone will not transform their business.
“The pace of change in many of the technologies that we are using today means that even the most experienced of employees may need a skills boost. Organisations must focus on lifelong training across their workforce, as they cannot rely simply on younger individuals coming into the company to bring the necessary skillsets.
“Another factor which is being brought about by the spread of automation, robotics and augmented reality is that soft skills are increasingly gaining value. As companies are increasingly able to rely on technology to perform tasks, their employees’ ability to contribute creativity, communication and collaboration will be necessary to set their business apart.”