By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
In this blog from OptoIQ (Laser Focus World), the issue of jobs creation is closely tied to the notion that where manufacturing goes is where jobs go and technology is part of the package.
Would there be decent competition to U.S. goods if other countries used inferior manufacturing technology? What if Toyota and Honda had never lifted their game with robotics? This may show my age, but I remember when people used to laugh at the first cheap imports from Japan.
Nothing is funny about the desperate need for jobs creation. We need leaders to help us find our way to prosperity but make no mistake: jobs are where manufacturing is and where goes manufacturing so, too, goes manufacturing technology (not just robots). According to the previously mentioned OptoIQ report, “one million robots in operation (worldwide) have been directly responsible for the creation of close to three million jobs.”
Robots are just part of the global business mix, and now all kinds of new jobs are available in the robotics industry. So if there are machines to be fixed and replaced and updated, sold and maintained then jobs are to be had. If some of those machines are robots then some of those jobs will be for people in the business of selling, maintaining or fixing them.
Anyone can have those jobs (but only if manufacturing does business where they live; and only if they have the right educational background). Remember: many countries – 10 or 15 at least, exceed the U.S. in school performance on STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Source: World education rankings: which country does best at reading, maths and science?
Wouldn’t it be great if the education system produced new generations of workers with world-class proficiency in STEM topics? More jobs will flow from the robotics industry – count on it – but be ready with a well trained workforce or those jobs will go where there is a high enough concentration of workers who have the technical skills.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?