According to Wikipedia Industry 4.0 is a name for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing. Industry 4.0 is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.
Research by Protolabs and Censuswide has revealed that a high proportion of senior decision makers in the UK not dot acknowledge the role digitisation plays in manufacturing. According to the survey more than a quarter of those asked still associate manufacturing with 'assembly lines' and 'manual labour'.
The results of this survey indicate that there is limited understanding of Industry 4.0 and the impact it has already made, and will continue to make, to the progress of manufacturing. Additionally, the survey statistics reflect that manufacturing is not viewed as a high-tech, digitally-savvy industry, which is what British businesses increasingly are. Instead, the inherent perception remains of manufacturing with manual, labour-intensive processes.”
The 2017 Skills Survey by the IET found substantial demand for engineering and technical skills in the industry and buoyancy of employment across most sectors. Some 39% of all businesses reported an increase in their engineering and technical workforce over the last three years, while only 11% reported a decrease. Looking to the future, more businesses (51%) expect to grow their engineering and technical workforce over the next three years than reported growth in that workforce over the last three years (39%). Very few businesses reported that their engineering and technical workforces will reduce over the next three years
Another statistic that makes a strong statement is that relating to the perception of manufacturing. Almost half of senior decision makers (48.7%) indicated that UK companies need to invest more in R&D to retain their high position in the global manufacturing market. When asked what is required to support industry growth, over a third (35%) support a greater focus on attracting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to develop fresh talent and expertise to bolster industry growth.