Report confirms that robots help create jobs

17 January 2012

It has been repeadedly demonstrated that the implementation of automation and robotics can increase productivity and efficiency and growth.

The Automating Manufacturing Programme, funded by the UK Government aims to increase the competitiveness of UK manufacturing, to create growth and in turn result in greater employment.

A recent study, conducted by market research firm Metra Martech ‘Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment’ published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in Tokyo, demonstrates that three million jobs have been directly created in recent years through the use of robots and a further one million positions are estimated globally by 2016.
Commenting on the report findings, Mike Wilson chairman of the British Automation and Robots Association (BARA) said “This is great news for British manufacturing. The study highlights the importance of robotics to the future growth of UK industry and the jobs it will create as a result. The recently launched Government funded Automating Manufacturing Programme is providing assistance to companies looking to use automation to improve competitiveness and drive growth. Together we can make UK manufacturing the best in the world and create the jobs that our country needs.”

The report found that between 2000-2008, manufacturing employment increased in nearly every major industrialised country, even as the use of industrialised robotics increased sharply. This trend is now being seen in China, Brazil and other emerging markets as they rapidly increase their use of robotics. In Brazil, the number of robots almost quadrupled during the study period with both production and employment rising by over 20%.

The report also highlighted three areas of importance with respect to growth in this market: Robots carry out work that is unsafe for humans; robots carry out work that is not viable in a high wage economy; and robots carry out work that would be impossible for humans.

The Government is providing, through the PPMA Group, up to £600,000 of funding to promote automation in UK manufacturing. Chief executive officer of the PPMA group Chris Buxton said: “We are delighted that the Government has put its full weight behind a programme that recognises the importance of automation in UK industry and the positive effect this has for growth and employment.”

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