Richard Chamberlain, service product manager at Bosch Rexroth, commented: “We are constantly reminded that Industry 4.0 will transform manufacturing for the better – with the promise of improving efficiency and productivity. Yet if our engineers are unprepared for the introduction of new automated technologies this will inevitably stall the progression towards Industry 4.0.
“Therefore in order to remain competitive training should be one of the first priorities in order to help employees adapt to meet the rapidly changing manufacturing processes.”
The company’s findings were drawn from an online survey in association with the Institution of Engineering and Technology to test the state of employer provision of training. More than eight out of 10 respondents who were manager level and above were then asked for more details.
One in four respondents said their company provides 10 hours or less of training to employees
More than 50% believe training budgets will remain unchanged over the next five years
43% say budget constraints prevent the introduction of more rigorous training
Added Chamberlain: “At face value, the survey shows that the majority of organisations are committed to training, with only a tiny proportion (2%) providing no training at all.
“However, it appears, in many instances, to be piecemeal and an activity which is squeezed in around day-to-day operational requirements. Rather than being seen as a core value-adding function which requires strategic investment of time, resources and of course, budget.”
Where training gaps are concerned, four out of 10 respondents cited understanding automated production processes as the area in most of need of training.
E-learning appears to rank relatively low as a training aid, with many in favour of physical training. The report’s authors suggest more attention should be paid to digitising training currently on offer.
More alarming perhaps is that fewer than one in three of the manager level respondents said they were aware of any training for Industry 4.0.
Concluded Chamberlain: “The responses were thought-provoking, particularly around the sector’s readiness for the challenges posed by Industry 4.0, where there are clearly gaps which all interested parties need to work together to address.”