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Manufacturing could witness mass adoption of technologies such as robotics, AI and big data amid the covid-19 crisis. (Mint)
Manufacturing could witness mass adoption of technologies such as robotics, AI and big data amid the covid-19 crisis. (Mint)

Up to 20% jobs may be cut: Ficci

  • New jobs will open up for 5-10% workers, report says
  • By 2022, at least 50% of workers will be deployed in jobs with radically-changed skill sets in auto sector, a report says

NEW DELHI : Automation, digital labour and gig workers will see more traction 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, an industry report said on Thursday.

While 10-15% of automobile and allied sector jobs may be wiped out, 15-20% workers in textiles and apparel may be made redundant in the new world order. However, new jobs will open up to accommodate 5-10% of workers, said a report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).

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, the report, written in collaboration with Nasscom and consulting firm EY, added.

Apparel data scientists, environment specialists and IT process engineers, among others, will be the new job categories in textiles, while demand for automobile analytics engineers, machine learning-based vehicle cybersecurity experts, 3D printing technicians and sustainability integration experts will rise.

“The biggest challenge faced by the organizations, especially in manufacturing, will be to get back to work and re-imagine work as it embraces the new digital reality," the report said, adding that manufacturing could also witness mass adoption of technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and big data to mitigate the shortage of manpower amid the covid-19 crisis.

“Labour-intensive manufacturing sectors depend on a large workforce on the shop- floor for operations. But social distancing norms will require different approach to resume activities. Emerging new business models and swift shift towards producing healthcare and medical equipment would also require workers to be re-skilled and up-skilled," the report said. Internet of Things (IoT) for the industries was already on the rise and now shortage of shop floor manpower due to covid-19 impact on migrant labourers, will fast track companies to integrate it to adapt to the new normal, it added.

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.

The report said 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.

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