We need to promote an industrial policy that fosters the training of human capital equipped to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
By Manuel Pérez Cárdenas, Head of the Office of the CONCAMIN Presidency
Industry 4.0 is already a reality in Mexico. Those of us who have had the chance to visit the country’s plants know that many of them use robots and that they have been able to boost productivity by 30% with the aid of sensors and data analysis, according to information supplied by Accenture. Although they are still a minority, the trend in Mexico is leaning toward the creation of more and more smart factories. Subsequently, to make our industry more competitive, not only do we need to encourage innovation and the generation of know-how, but we need to migrate to a new paradigm of social inclusion.
By the same token, we need to revert the lag caused by the belief that “the best industrial policy is a lack of one”. The kind of industrial policy we should be promoting is one that fosters the training of human capital equipped to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with greater emphasis on continuous training and dual education. The goal is to make it easier for our young people to join the job market by teaching them Industry 4.0 skills.
According to a recent study published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, based on a survey conducted among Austrian industrialists, the qualities companies are looking for in this new era are continuous training (required by 86% of those surveyed), the capacity for interdisciplinary thought (77%) and more advanced computer skills (76%).
It is in this context that Concamin is promoting a dual education system linked to industry that guarantees specialized training and employment. The system will provide continuous training so workers have the capacities they need to perform their duties effectively. It will also give our young people the practical education they need to get a foot in the job market.
The focus needs to be on innovation and the application of cutting-edge technology to production processes, because—as the study states—more than half of workers surveyed in, for example, the automotive industry have had to learn how to operate new technologies or equipment in less than two years. This is why I believe it is of strategic interest that the Annual Industrialists Meeting will be taking place concomitantly to the High-Level Mexico-Germany Dialogue and Industrial Transformation México, the first edition of Hannover Messe in Mexico, which will take place at the Polifórum León, León, Guanajuato, on October 9- 11.
This is our chance to gather young people, small and mid-size companies, academics, industrialists, business leaders from Mexico and Germany and high-level government officials under one roof, so they can voice their opinions on how to turn Industry 4.0 into an opportunity for social inclusion in Mexico. Our goal is to draw up a modern industrial policy with its sights set on greater social wellbeing.