IMechE responds to Parliamentary inquiry

Posted on 20 Sep 2018 and read 683 times
IMechE responds to Parliamentary inquiryThe House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched an inquiry in May on automation and the future of work, looking at its likely impact on UK businesses and the potential it has for productivity, growth and re-industrialisation.

The inquiry is also considering the impact of automation on workers, and the potential benefits and choices for consumers.

In addition, it is set to examine the advice and financial support available for businesses seeking to automate, and for those whose jobs are affected by changes in how we work.

Last month, Jenifer Baxter — head of engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers — responded to the inquiry after collating the replies to a survey of IMechE members that asked for their views on the questions the inquiry posed.

Where appropriate, these replies were broken down to cover manufacturing, biomedical engineering, automotive engineering, rail and construction.

The questions posed to members included: What impact has automation had on business productivity to date?

Could
automation lead to re-industrialisation, as processes and products become cheaper? Which sectors are most likely to be affected by a growth in automation?

What sort of tasks are most and least likely to be replaced by automation?

Is there enough advice and support available for businesses that want to automate?

Does the Government’s Industrial Strategy offer the right support to businesses for automation?

What opportunities are there for British tech businesses from a rise in automation, and how can these opportunities best be exploited for the benefit of British industry?

The questions also considered if there are specific demographic groups most at risk, how associated job losses might be mitigated by new roles in specific industries, what businesses are doing to offer training to staff, either as a result of or in support of automation, and whether the Government has a role in retraining workers affected by automation.

Full details of Dr Baxter’s response can be found at the Web site (www.imeche.org) in the News section dated 29 August 2018.

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