A recent study carried out by trade show organisers Nineteen Group for its forthcoming Manufacturing & Engineering Week event showed that 78% of UK industrial companies find finding the employees they need more challenging or complex than usual. The most difficult roles to fill are engineering (57%), manufacturing (42%), and technical (42%).
The leading causes of the skills shortage include insufficient manufacturing involvement in technical education and a lack of interest in manufacturing and engineering. The survey also indicated the impact of COVID-19 on UK manufacturing and engineering businesses, with 67% saying their business had been affected by the pandemic. Only 35% had considered using automated technologies such as robots to fill vacant roles or assist existing workers.
Joe Daft, Head of Robotics at Wise Robotics said: “Although robotic automation has been proven to be beneficial for handling a wide range of applications across multiple industries, research has shown that many companies, especially in the UK, face challenges when it comes to adoption of automation. In many cases, this is due to those companies lacking the skills or experience needed to operate robots and other types of automated equipment.
“However, with many automation equipment manufacturers offering training and support for new users, there is a great opportunity for companies to switch to automated equipment to address the issues caused by a shortage of skilled or available labour.”