robot big

Tech makes our work cheaper and faster

22 September 2016

But is it doing us out of a job? With studies showing that 75 per cent of jobs could be automated in the future, it’s fair to say that future-proofing your business and job for the coming decades of rapid change should be top of the agenda.

Construction Skills Queensland’s has just released their Farsight for Construction report (August 2016) which notes the influence that advanced technologies will have on trades in the coming years.

From smart machines (designed to accomplish tasks as routine as bricklaying and tiling), to the 3D printing revolution and increases in computing power: the face of the industry will look very different by 2036. But while 75 per cent of jobs could be automated in the future, the report does not predict that the workforce will be slashed by 75 per cent.

“Technology makes some roles redundant,” writes CSQ CEO, Brett Schimming. “But it creates entirely new jobs as well. This will bring an enormous skilling, reskilling and upskilling challenge.”

The disruptive impact of digital technology is still to hit the trades industry full force, but as the report notes, it plays an increasing role in the economy as a whole. “Trades people and knowledge professionals alike will need to be well versed in the use of apps and tools that boost productivity, quality and safety,” the report states.

“Furthermore, with technological development accelerating over time, task automation might become sudden and unpredictable.” To avoid being blind-sided by rapid change, workers need to stay on top of latest developments and look to embrace these in a business savvy way.

Perhaps a more positive and convenient development is the rise of 3D printing. As this new technology continues to rapidly improve, 3D printing allows for the production of complex shapes, helping create sturdier structures using less materials and meeting the growing consumer demand for personalised design.

The cost of transporting components, as well as the cost of labour, could be reduced. 3D printed components could also allow for easy dismantling and complete recycling. And while there’s the potential that 3D printing might substitute labour-intensive trades, it will also require new jobs in robotics and software programming, as well as engineering skills that can “exploit the potential of new materials and forms”.

For more information on the report, and to read the CSQ Farsight report, visit csq.org.au/farsight

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