The Future of the Workforce

I've been involved in a project with a food manufacturer at Poole that makes sausage rolls and other baked goods. If you've bought multipack sausage rolls (shame on you) then they likely came from here.
The whole process has been automated with only a few people required on the production line.
They knock out tens of thousands of the things every hour, every day without cessation. I can't remember the exact figure but at 10k per hour it's 87 million per year.
Any problems on the line have to be sorted within 15 minutes or production stops, the flow diverts to a spiral buffer.

A few hundred people had been laid off due to the automation on the sausage roll line alone. We'll be doing the baked slice line sometime this is year unless a disgruntled ex employee burns the place down. Fingers crossed, as I detest the place and the building team that work there.
They'd be doing the world a favour considering the garbage they produce, none of the tech staff touch the stuff either.
Having used the toilet facilities there I'd never eat a cheapo sausage roll again.
Utterly disgusting place.

When I grew up there, everyone had horror stories from someone they knew who worked there

Never knew if there was any truth to them, but they got around
 
Way too many unanswered questions to this photo.
1. Did you take it?
2. Would this explain the slightly angled-low-perverted-snapshot it appears to be?
3. Bare feet??
4. But in relation to Question 3 are those socks she is holding?
5. Or are they stockings....which would explain Question 2!
6. And finally in time honoured ARRSE tradition...well did you?

I reckon she's just taken off her tights, but not before she snapped a few shots for her Only Fans page, and will be selling her worn tights shortly
 

endure

GCM
I suspect some Uni's with fancy names charge more.

However, what seems to be happening mroe and more of 'everybody else' are offering distance part-time courses to match the OU model, as they've realised the cash involved.
The OU charges ~£6k a year for an Honours degree, everybody else charges £9k.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
Tomorrow’s world said by the year 2000 the robots and computers would take over and we’d all have leisure time. Got that wrong.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
People will just have to adapt as some jobs disappear and new ones are created

Same as the industrial revolution but without the luddites
Just to say, the Luddites wer,nt against modern machinery, but they were against the swathing cuts in their wages because machines were brought in. The maesters almost starved the workforce , also they then find that it was a jolly wheeze to pay them in Tokens which then could be spent in company stores for inflated price goods. Hence, the tort and Trucks act later in the 20th. Century.
The LUDDITE slur is the bosses' propaganda, which was incorporated into history.
Would you take a wage cut because your company brought in new computers or brooms .
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
I can't remember the full SP, but in an economics course many moons ago we were taught that some " safe and secure" jobs are needed to keep a countries' economy stable , people who are secure save, buy houses and cars etc. Civil servants, council employees and in the olde day the utilities workforces .
Also on this theme, it was recognised that a certain amount of " black " economy helped the situation as money was made to move around more .
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
People will just have to adapt as some jobs disappear and new ones are created

Same as the industrial revolution but without the luddites
Just to say, the Luddites wer,nt against modern machinery, but they were against the swathing cuts in their wages because machines were brought in. The maesters almost starved the workforce , also they then find that it was a jolly wheeze to pay them in Tokens which then could be spent in company stores for inflated price goods. Hence, the tort and Trucks act later in the 20th. Century.
The LUDDITE slur is the bosses' propaganda, which was incorporated into history.
Would you take a wage cut because your company brought in new computers or brooms .
 
If you'll indulge my ramblings for a little, here's my take on it, for context, I advise corporates and governments on digital strategies for a profession (Oooh, look at you Mr Billy Big Boots)

Corporate culture has to change, that is, EVERY corporate needs to change. The technology is shifting people to a hybrid of home and office working. In my experience new tech does not totally replace the old (Hands up those of you who still buy vinyl records or use a notepad and pen?), it is merely used alongside until the realisation of the old tech is not fit for that particular purpose. There are some technologies that have been abandoned altogether (Goodby Mr 8 track), but there are some techs that will continue against all logic. See this:


I've been working from home for over 10 years now, it is a lonely and soul destroying life if you don't have physical human contact (I don't mean with the aforementioned temp that @happyuk has stalked, but if you do have her number....), I think people will have a more blended approach to remote and onsite working. This leads me to the next reason corporates need to change. Big money...

Read this:


I've had calls from very large investment funds stating the money isn't in office blocks any more. Think about it, what are investment funds? I don't want to seem patronising, but these are large bags of money coming from pension funds, individual investors both rich and poor and some county councils (remember the UK councils that got their fingers burnt when the icelandic banking crash happened?). What do they want? Return on investment: Dividends, interest, that sort of thing. If I spend many hundreds of millions on a office block, then I want my original investment plus more money back, that way I can pay my pensions, small person's retirement fund or mega wealthy private yachts filled with champagne, yacht girls and columbia's finest (allegedly). They're not getting their money back on empty office space, so they're going to spend it elsewhere (Datacentres for the big tech folks or other long term investments) that will cause a shift in the investment and development of these expensive office blocks on the medium to long term. Suddenly the prestige office in London's Docklands doesn't seem to be that attractive...

Next is the worker. Before Covid, the status quo was commute 4 hrs a day into the big office block on public transport that wasn't fit for purpose or spend £2K a week for your studio apartment in Docklands, but spend most of your time out of it as you want to go out and get out of it (another drugs reference Lefty, something you want to share with the audience?)

Mr Covid and Mrs Lockdown put paid to all that. Suddenly I don't have to spend £12K annually on a season ticket for a daily unpleasant experience, or my prestigious studio flat in Docklands is, in fact, a smally box with walls that seem to be creaping inwards. £8K per month can pretty much buy luxury houses in a more civilized area which have gardens and people who are alarmingly nice to each other. So I don't want that Docklands pad any more, see ya!

Which brings us back to the investment fund conundrum... We don't want to invest in the residential developments in certain areas. As an interesting side note, the UK building sector represents 30% of the Conservative party funding. What do the builders want? Return to the status quo, what does UK govt want?


The final thing which has been talked about is the rise of the machines. As has been pointed out before, there will still be humans needed to design, fix and decommission these machines. Take it one stage further, have a listen to this:



Note the change in the sound of the bass when it gets automated. It's a far more limited sound. Over time things can be learnt, but there isn't the expression humans have.

I'm no expert in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), but I do cover process automation. There is a huge demand for IT people globally, be they cloud engineers, RPA specialists Artificial Intelligence specialists, the list goes on. Therefore people need to be educated in these skills. Be that teaching coding to 10 yr olds or investing in tertiary education by subsidising those degree or other courses that actually add value (STEM and the like, definitely not law or media studies!)

There are some subjects that can be dropped entirely from the secondary school mandatory curriculum - Religious studies perchance... the harsh result of the woke agenda - see this excellent thread from @halo_jones : https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/the-bigotry-of-low-expectations.300260/

The conclusion? We are in a more aggressive movement of change that will affect absolutely everyone, for better in most cases or for worse for some that have been identified in @Listy's excellent passive definition mentioned on the previous page.

Ramblings over! Thank you for your time.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
I read a very interesting article on this subject a few years back.

I’ve needed to refer to it a few times recently but for the life of me can’t remember who it’s by and can’t find it online.

Anyway the gist of it is this….

The first things to change will be people’s reliance on cities. It’s already happening. People can work from home now, so the need to go to an office is getting rarer. People will slowly migrate to open space and buy houses in cheaper places. The population will spread out, cities will become less busy, the countryside more so.

Driverless cars coupled with mobile working will revolutionise the working day. You will be able to have Zoom meetings in the back of your Tesla while being driven to a physical meeting. The commute becomes part of your working day.

One of the easiest things to automate will be the law. Instead of judges, juries and lawyers, computers will be able to use complex formulas to weigh up the probability of guilt and issue fair and unobjective sentences accordingly. Whether this happens remains to be seen. It could happen now, but would require legislation. What lawyer is going to legislate themselves into redundancy?

Most automation will not actually make people redundant though, it’ll just make our existing jobs easier, more efficient and more cost effective. One example is using AI and drones for crop dusting. Instead of using a plane to spray an entire field, the drone carries out analysis of the crops and only sprays the bits that need it. The farmer still exists and the guy who owns the crop dusting business still exists, they just have less work to do now. The farmer makes more money for doing less work, the crop duster can do a higher volume of jobs.

We’ve already seen this sort of thing in the past. Advances in technology don’t mean everyone gets made redundant, it just makes a process more efficient and people find different jobs. All the delivery boys who used to transport letters around the city of London didn’t just disappear when the internet was invented, they just found different jobs.

So as things become more efficient and cost effective, a lot of people will actually have more time and more money. This means leisure becomes a massive industry and people will take up jobs related to this.

And as people have pointed out above, all this automation, still requires people to build it, fix it, programme it. The car mechanics of today will be the computer programmers of tomorrow.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I hope this comment doesn't attract some of the site's moonhowlers but it is relevant, here.

Increased mechanisation/robotisation puts paid to the oft-given justification for mass inward migration: a workforce to offset the effects of an ageing population.

Many low-grade, repetitive tasks have long since disappeared abroad or been replaced by robots. Where re-shoring is taking place, robots are/will offset the need for manual labour. They have to in order to be cost-competitive.

I'm staying well away from the point for the moment that many of those of a certain demographic are very low-skilled. One thing that will need to be watched there is radicalisation.

We will always need a workforce. Of course we will. But expect skills to shift.
 
Not sure about the future of the workforce, but currently the lack of an inexhaustible supply of labour from the EU has resulted in my company hiring workers straight to contract at pay levels significantly higher than the entry level agency workers of the pre-pandemic, pre-Brexit era.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Not sure about the future of the workforce, but currently the lack of an inexhaustible supply of labour from the EU has resulted in my company hiring workers straight to contract at pay levels significantly higher than the entry level agency workers of the pre-pandemic, pre-Brexit era.
Is that not though because we're out of kilter?

TCB's strategy of pushing 50 percent of kids through Uni has denuded us of artisans. Most of the guys I know who are on the tolls are flat out. And let's not mention drivers.

We need to re-balance.
 
Read Orwell’s road to Wigan Pier. Chapter 12 about automation and machine socialism was absolutley about this.

However in fact what we have seen is a growth in the resurgence of craftsmanship and artisan production as people seek authenticity. Beer is a great example, the drive for scale and economy of the big brewing houses has led to a diminution of the product to such an extent that real ale, craft breweries and microbreweries have flourished over the past few years. We see the same with many foodstuffs, where people are making money producing high quality small scale product that attracts a premium price. Cheese being a great example. We can see the same in everything from bicycles to carpentry, people attach value to something sweated over and born through the skill of craftsmanship.
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Read Orwell’s road to Wigan Pier. Chapter 12 about automation and machine socialism was absolutley about this.

However in fact what we have seen is a growth in the resurgence of craftsmanship and artisan production as people seek authenticity. Beer is a great example, the drive for scale and economy of the big brewing houses has led to a diminution of the product to such an extent that real ale, craft breweries and microbreweries have flourished over the past few years. We see the same with many foodstuffs, where people are making money producing high quality small scale product that attracts a premium price. Cheese being a great example.
Yes - as so many things become commoditised, people and companies need something to distinguish them in the marketplace.

This has been a discussion with colleagues in the transportation space, for example. Driverless taxis might hit some parts of the immigrant community hard, for instance, but we can probably expect to see growth in higher-grade chauffeur services. People will probably pay more for the human interaction on a longer journey, or to have a hand lifting the shopping into the house.
 
Is that not though because we're out of kilter?

TCB's strategy of pushing 50 percent of kids through Uni has denuded us of artisans. Most of the guys I know who are on the tolls are flat out. And let's not mention drivers.

We need to re-balance.
You are probably right, we have virtually unlimited overtime at my factory, a semi-skilled production operative can easily top 40k if he puts the hours in. The office block is stuffed with graduates doing admin and clerical stuff on half that and don't seem to want to move out onto the shop floor.
 

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