BUSINESS to preserve their competitiveness, the explanation may be that economical effectiveness is difficult to predict due to low level of technologies and applications actually used so far. What effect will Industry 4.0 have on employees? In the long-term view the effect should not be negative. Think of the introduction of IT and industrial robotics in the so-called 3rd Industrial Revolution, which, on one hand,
made a range of jobs redundant, but on the other hand one cancelled position was soon replaced by two and a half new jobs. The first stage will undoubtedly gradually reduce certain low-qualification jobs, first in administration and office jobs, then low qualification production professions. However, this trend has been around for some time already, such as in insurance services, (nowadays the most often researched and purchased online) where the number of jobs has considerably decreased.
We should expect a short-term increase of unemployment. How to prevent its serious impact? The greatest benefit of Industry 4.0 is of course not in the elimination of great numbers of jobs but in the connection and close collaboration of employees and new technologies. Businesses will still need their employees, however, their roles will transform. It is therefore vital to prevent a drop in unemployment. The sooner our system of education, employers, and employees react to this transformation, the smaller the impact on employment will be. Moreover, new economics will bring more jobs and greater employment in new spheres. It is highly probable that some employees will find it difficult to adapt to the changes, and the system of education will undoubtedly take time to react too. That is why some European countries are testing the regimen of guaranteed pay which will help people cover their living costs while looking for a proper new job. Yet good pay is not enough to live a happy life: people need a meaningful aim, aprogramme, so guaranteed pay is only a temporary solution. Is the region ready to support solving difficulties related to Industry 4.0? The regional innovation strategy and the top priority of the regional government is to create is a high-quality innovation ecosystem. The Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre Ostrava is involved in creating the centre of industrial competences providing businesses with information on principles and tools which Industry 4.0 is based upon, but also (in the experimental operations) demonstrating real examples of how they work, and advising and helping in the preparation and implementation of projects. The Regional and City Governments of Ostrava, local universities and key companies of the region participate in development and improvement of this ecosystem. More measures are taken in schools rearranging their syllabi and programmes of study, building specialized and practical classrooms which will effectively prepare students for their functions in the new economics. As for employee support, we can help them prepare in requalification trainings in professions which future employers will require. We expect that some of them might not intend to work as employees any more, and those with an interesting idea and strong will to start their own business may join our programme to support starting entrepreneurs. Foto a text: Moravskoslezský kraj
22 ǀ POSITIV 3/2018