ABB survey finds reindustrialization ‘threatened’ by global automation education deficit

A global ABB A survey found a growing trend of U.S. and European companies performing relocation or outreach operations to build resilience to global challenges – but at the same time, a significant education gap in the skills needed to make these strategies successful .

Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business, said: “The world is constantly changing – companies are modifying existing structures and adopting new technologies to future-proof their operations in the face of a variety of challenges and challenges. uncertainties, with robotic automation playing a key role. role.

“We need significant investments in continuing education to prepare our current and future workforce to thrive in the age of robotics and automation, which is important not only to prepare for widespread change that we see, but also to create successful societies in the future.”

ABB’s 2022 survey of US and European business leaders found that 74% of European companies and 70% of US companies plan to relocate or move closer to their operations to build their supply chain resilience in response labor shortages, the need for a more sustainable global footprint and global uncertainty.

The majority of these companies see automation as the catalyst for these changes, with 75% of European companies and 62% of US companies surveyed planning to invest in robotics and automation over the next three years to facilitate this change in the operations.

Despite this appetite for automation, ABB’s 2022 Global Education Survey revealed a significant gap in the education and training needed to ensure the skills needed to work in increasingly connected workplaces. and automation of the future.

Among global education professionals surveyed, 80% believe robotics and automation will shape the future of employment over the next ten years, while only one in four education institutions currently use robots as part of its educational programs.

To help close the skills gap, ABB has bolstered its global robotics and automation training program with new training centers, including its €100 million global innovation and training campus in Austria.

The new site, along with other new regional training centers in the UK, Berlin and Brazil, extends ABB’s training facilities to more than 40 locations worldwide, training more than 30,000 students each year schools, colleges and universities, as well as apprentices and workers.

The sites add to ABB’s existing educational offering, which consists of software packages, including ABB’s Programming Wizard Easy, RobotStudio and RobotStudio AR Viewer App, as well as hardware in the form of collaborative robot cells and application software.

Through more than 100 global partnerships with schools and universities, ABB generates educational materials with training providers to help educate future generations and prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Atiya says, “Change has to happen now.

“As companies turn to robotic automation to offset labor shortages, improve efficiency and increase resilience, workers need the skills to use automation to perform their jobs and increase their own roles.

“Businesses must join forces, working with educational institutions and governments to ensure that society is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Only then can we fully utilize flexible automation and unlock the value of ongoing reindustrialization. »

ABB’s survey highlights the critical need to promote the education of robotics and automation skills. For more information, including ABB’s education offering, examples of educational projects involving ABB and its robots and software, and a white paper on how education automation can help shape the workforce of tomorrow, visit the ABB Education portal page.