“People who risk losing their jobs because of digitisation need and deserve our help,” he told a gathering of manufacturing industry executives yesterday (7 March) in Brussels.
Ansip acknowledged that employment in the sector will buckle as a result of technological change. Companies will need to hire employees with specialised skills to operate robots and automated machines that replace lower-skilled factory jobs.
“In manufacturing it is true that some jobs are disappearing but it is also true that the job skills we need for future manufacturing will be more high-tech as the economy grows,” he said.
Only 3.6% of the EU workforce are technology specialists, according to data published by the Commission last week. Only 56% of Europeans have the most basic digital skills.