“The fourth industrial revolution is already underway and ‘Smart Manufacturing’ is the key to future business competitiveness. Despite a possible contraction in employment rates in the short term, in the medium­long term a fall in employment in absolute numbers is by no means certain, especially in the services industry”.

 

This is the analysis carried out by Alessandro Perego (Scientific Director of Osservatori Digital Innovation at the Politecnico University of Milan) on the recent study “Future Jobs” presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

 

3D printer (Mirko Tobias Schäfer/Flickr)

3D printer (Mirko Tobias Schäfer/Flickr)

Mr. Perego foresees an economy that will need a labour force with a very different set of skills, a change mainly due to the digital innovation that is currently underway.

 

Because of this it is paramount for organisations and institutions alike to provide current and future workers with the digital skills for the tasks of the future.

 

The previous three industrial revolutions (steam, electricity and computerisation) have by no means meant a decline in employment rates but rather a change in types of jobs (and skills needed) in line with the rise of new types of industry.

 

Ultimately this has also lead to constant creation and redistribution of wealth.

 

Italian companies have begun investing in smart manufacturing technology but, the rate at which Italian companies are adopting new technology is slowed down by cultural and organisational factors as well as by a lack of supply capability.

 

Italy has the second largest manufacturing sector in Europe but it needs to step up if it wants to reap the full benefits that the fourth industrial revolution will offer.

alessandro fumagalli

alessandro fumagalli

Before moving back to Italy, Alessandro worked for six years as senior research analyst for The Financial Times newspaper. He currently works as a research consultant and freelance translator. Alessandro graduated in Business Studies with a First Class Honours Degree at the “London South Bank University” in England.
alessandro fumagalli