Automatic for the people?


Robots are often blamed for forcing humans onto the dole queue but new evidence suggests automation in sectors like food and drink may be responsible for job creation.

A recently published study conducted by the market research firm, Metra Martech on behalf of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) in Tokyo, showed that three million jobs have been directly created globally in recent years by the use of robots and a further one million positions estimated by 2016.
Entitled ‘Positive Impact of Industrial Robots on Employment’, its findings add weight to the view that automation and robotics increase productivity, efficiency and growth – an outcome that falls into line with the UK Government’s efforts to increase competitiveness in manufacturing via its Automating Manufacturing Programme which, through the PPMA Group, will provide up to £600,000 of funding to promote automation in UK manufacturing.

Together we can make UK manufacturing the best in the world and create the jobs that our country needs.

Mike Wilson, chairman of the British Automation and Robots Association (BARA) said: “This is great news for British manufacturing. The IFR 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.
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.”
To apply for a government funded Automating Manufacturing review that involves a totally independent automation and robotics specialist visiting premises to conduct a confidential review and advise where automation can assist, increase productivity and drive growth contact