What do manufacturers think 4IR is all about | EEF

What do manufacturers think 4IR is all about?

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This week we’ve published a fact card, with our partners Oracle, setting out facts and figures surrounding the 4th industrial revolution.

We heard from Chris yesterday on what the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) is and how there are many different terms across Europe for this next stage in the evolution of industry.

Over the summer we have held focus groups with manufacturers to find out, behind all the terminology and terms, what they make of 4IR and how it will help their companies.


In the focus groups we also heard from companies on their views on what they would need in their business in order to fully capitalise on some of the technologies and techniques of 4IR. The vast majority of businesses around the country recognised the need for upskilling and training, merging ‘traditional’ engineering skills with digital knowledge in order to fully capitalise on what 4IR technologies can bring to manufacturing.

We know this is just one area of upskilling need across the sector – over the next three years, manufacturers expect a significant increase in demand for skills, yet almost three quarters are worried about how this demand is going to be met.

Indeed, our survey evidence chimes with the qualitative evidence we heard in our focus groups.


To request a hard copy of the EEF/Oracle UK Manufacturing 4th Industrial Revolution fact card, please send your name and address to research@eef.org.uk

Keep up-to-date on all of our work on this subject at our Fourth Industrial Revolution campaign page



Senior Policy Researcher

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