Monday, July 16, 2018

The robots are coming

Global workforces will be decimated as the next industrial revolution gets under way, the head of one of Germany’s biggest firms has warned.

Joe Kaeser, global chief executive of the engineering giant Siemens, said up to almost a third of jobs could be lost as the transition from combustion engines to electric cars takes place over the next decade, in what will be “one of the single most important transformations of all time”.

“It may cause quite a dip in employment, because if you have 20-30 less value chain, then … you have 20%-30% fewer jobs. That is how it has been in the first three industrial revolutions. There has always been a significant change in employment. And then by enabling growth, it actually turned out that more jobs were created. Higher growth was achieved and obviously more people moved out of poverty and had better lives. So the first three worked very well and now we’re on the verge of the fourth industrial revolution which will obviously affect manufacturing massively as it accounts for 70% of global GDP. The social and economic impact of digitalisation is going to be massive. The least efficient part of the value chain, the middle man, will be cut out. Unfortunately the least efficient part of the value chain is human beings so someone has to do something about the fall out,” he said.

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