Context: Automation, digital labour and gig workers will increase in the manufacturing sector, while 10-20% of existing jobs in labour-intensive sectors will face cuts due to the changing post-covid business environment, said a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
An assessment of post Covid-19 India:
- Job loss: While 10-15% of automobile and allied sector jobs may be lost, 15-20% workers in textiles and apparel may be gone. However, new jobs will open up to accommodate 5-10% of workers.
- New skills needed: By 2022, at least 50% of the workers will be in jobs with radically-changed skill sets in the auto sector and up to 40% in textiles and apparel.
- Five new skill sets will be in huge demand in the post-covid-19 world, which include
- Data literacy
- Making sense of data and in-depth understanding of business trends and shifting customer needs,
- Creativity and innovation,
- Digital marketing for continuation of businesses,
- Critical thinking to determine what is credible and big data to make businesses more resilient to future pandemics
- New kinds of jobs: Apparel data scientists, environment specialists and IT process engineers, among others, will be the new job categories in textiles.
- Demand for automobile analytics engineers, machine learning-based vehicle cybersecurity experts, 3D printing technicians and sustainability integration experts will rise.
- Adoption of new technologies: Shortage of shop ﬂoor manpower due to covid-19 impact on migrant labourers, will fast track companies to integrate Internet of Things, Robotics etc. to adapt to the new normal.
Challenges for manufacturing sector:
- Social distancing norms: Labour-intensive manufacturing sectors depend on a large workforce on the shop- floor for operations. But social distancing norms will require a different approach to resume activities.
- Need for skill upgradation: Emerging new business models and swift shift towards producing healthcare and medical equipment would also require workers to be re-skilled and up-skilled.
In a labour-surplus country like India, such a shift, if it becomes a reality, will have a huge negative impact on the labour market that is struggling due to inadequate employment generation, higher informal jobs and lack of decent work.
Image Source: Economic Times