Government, industry and the trade unions have come together to launch a set of Guiding Principles forDigitalisation, aimed at helping companies and their workforces to make the most of the drive towards a new digital era for manufacturing.
This followed a meeting of the Made Smarter Commission with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrea Leadsom).
According to Made Smarter, by 2030 the UK will be the global leader in the development, adoption and export of advanced digital technologies that shape how the world does business.
“These new technologies will enable faster, more responsive and more efficient processes to deliver improved productivity and higher-quality products at a reduced cost”.
To help companies and workforces drive the take-up of new technologies in a way that is not disruptive but produces good jobs, improved productivity and a clean footprint, Made Smarter has devised six guiding principles that it is asking companies to commit to, as well as extending the relationship to their supply chains.
These cover: Partnership at work; Health, safety, welfare and environment; Developing digital skills for the future; Respect at work; Job security and enhancement; and Equalities, diversity and inclusion.
“Digitalisation can support inclusivity, but issues — including new ways of working and working time, job design, job evaluation, access to training, retraining and progression — can all have equality and diversity implications. Equality impact assessments should be included within any organisation’s plans for digitalisation.”
Juergen Maier (pictured), chairman of the Made Smarter Commission and CEO of Siemens UK, said: “To make a success of this 4th Industrial revolution, it needs to be truly inclusive.
"That means strong partnerships when it comes to digitalisation, technology deployment and up-skilling; the Made Smarter work is totally committed to that.
"We have long said that we need a workforce ready for technology disruption — and that a million existing workers need new digital skills.
"This partnership between government, industry and the TUC is the first step in developing a detailed road-map to deliver this.”