Skills Requirements for the European Machine Tool Sector Emerging from Its Digitalization
The machine tool industry, which is the starting point of all the metal producing activities, is presently undergoing rapid and continuous changes as a result of the fourth industrial revolution Industry 4.0. Manufacturing models are profoundly transforming with emerging digitalization. Smart technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), digital twin, allow the machine tool companies to optimize processes, increase efficiency and reduce waste through a
... ce waste through a new phase of automation. These technologies, as well, enable the machine tool producers to reach the aim of creating products with improved performance, extended life, high reliability that are eco-efficient. Therefore, Industry 4.0 could be perceived as an invaluable opportunity for the machine tool sector, only if the sector has a competent workforce capable of handling the implementation of new business models and technological developments. The main condition to create this highly qualified workforce is reskilling and upskilling of the current workforce. Once we define the expected evolution of skills requirements, we can clarify the skills mismatch between the workers and job profiles. Only then, we can reduce them by delivering well-developed trainings. For this purpose, this article identifies the current and foreseen skills requirements demanded by the machine tool industry workforce. To this end, we generated an integrated database for the sector with the present and prospective skills needs of the metal processing sector professionals. The presented sectoral database is a fundamental structure that will make the sector acquire targeted industrial reforms. It can also be an essential instrument for machine tool companies, policymakers, academics and education or training centers to build well-designed and effective training programs to enhance the skills of the labor force.