Digitisation and tacit knowledge

Image credit: https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/employers/industry-and-partners/industry-hub/preventing-injury/managing-an-ageing-workforce

“We are losing a lot of people and we not only lose them, we also lose their knowledge”

(10:06) “In a few years from now, the baby boomer generation will retire. We are losing a lot of people, from the shop floor to the top floor, and we not only lose those people, we also lose their knowledge. We need digitalization solutions to solve this lack of people and this lack of knowledge for the future. And also, when you look at the demographic pyramid, you can see that the young people in Austria, and I think it’s the same all over Europe, the younger people get higher education and every one of us who are parents are looking for the children to not work at the shop floor. They should work with academics or something like that. So they get higher education and therefore we have a second reason for the lack of workers at the shop floor. You have a new generation for whom the shop floor is not attractive and they are discussing if they are really interested in working 40 hours a week and maybe in the shift model on a Saturday. I think for the sustainability of Europe and of manufacturing, that’s one of the keys.

Workforce knowledge is a precious property and an important, strategic resource for any organisation. European manufacturers will need to find solutions to remove the hindrances contributing towards the flow and sharing of knowledge across their organisations. In the future, AI and robotics can play a significant role in addressing those challenges.