Lead Forensics

Future of manual workers hangs in doubt

Italian entrepreneur Flavio Briatore has predicted that in a few years, there will be no need for manual workers.

For example, warehouses will no longer require humans to push furniture trolleys, hang garments on heavy-duty garment rails, lift items from storage trolleys, and perform other tasks that involve manual handling. Instead, he suggests that robots will replace human workers.

However, not everyone agrees with this prediction. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs Report in 2023 stated that the manual worker demand remains high, with many companies finding it difficult to recruit manual workers.

The largest job losses are predicted to be data entry clerks, executive secretaries and administration staff. There will also be less need for customer service personnel, whose roles will be taken over by artificial intelligence systems.

Economist Kirsten Cutajar Miller suggests that to fill vacant manual working jobs, they need to be made more attractive by offering better salaries and a clear career path towards management roles. She says:

“A better-structured demand for quality manual labour gives greater prestige to the occupation, which in turn stimulates supply.”

She believes that preparation for manual occupations should be part of the education system so that students become valued workers.

Although future businesses may adopt warehouse management software and artificial intelligent systems to replace many administrative and customer service workers, there will still be a need for well-trained, quality manual handling workers. These workers, however, will be assisted by automated machinery and robots.

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