Industry staff: Let the robots come!

Published on 1 February 2018

Employees are remarkably positive about working in the technological sector. Approximately 83% of employees see digitisation and robotisation as a promising opportunity and encourage these developments. They feel that technology makes their work more challenging and fun. Employees enjoy learning and have a need for professional training and information.

Over 90% indicate that they feel a responsibility to stay abreast of developments in their own field. In addition, 76% of those participating in the study expect support from their employer. The study (pdf, 8.8 MB) also shows that there is more than one type of employee, although there are no big differences between younger and older generations, individuals with different education levels or working in different sectors. Optimists (67%) and sceptics (14%) can be found in all layers and groups. FME chairperson Ineke Dezentjé Hamming: “We need to embrace the enthusiasm and positive outlook of the employees with all parties. Let the robots come! Together, we will make the Netherlands techproof!”

FME has commissioned Berenschot and TIAS to research the influence of technological developments on the work carried out in the industry sector – over 6,900 employees participated in this study. Nearly all employees indicate that new technology is being used in their companies. The good news is that employees welcome these technological developments. A large majority believe that these changes will not lead to the loss of jobs. Tasks will change, and new positions will be added. New technology requires different skills and knowledge. Most employees want to move with the changes and feel a responsibility to keep abreast of them; they need concrete guidelines in order to do so. They mainly want to understand what the changes mean for their own jobs and want to be included in the developments.

Great willingness among employees for lifelong learning

The ever-increasing digitisation enables the competitive capacity to increase and facilitates new and different employment opportunities. Hans van der Molen, Berenschot’s Chairman of the Board: “Together, companies and government need to provide the necessary training to enable employees to work with new technology. This study shows that 99% of the employees are keen to develop their skills.” Ineke Dezentjé Hamming: “It is high time to pave the way for lifelong learning. Together companies, schools and the government can make this happen. As the employees indicate in the research report: the best assurance you can have is a job!”

Onno Ponfoort

Onno Ponfoort

Senior managing consultant