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German ambassador in Liverpool to debate future of work

Germany’s Ambassador to the UK will open a debate in Liverpool today (14 November) on the digitalisation and future of work.

Directors from Liverpool City Region-based German and British firms will be present for the 2017 German British Forum conference at Liverpool Town Hall.

Autonomous ports, unmanned vehicles and shipping, and lights out factories run by robots are among topics of debate at the conference, which will also be attended by the CEO of Siemens UK.

Dr Peter Ammon, Germany’s Ambassador to the UK, will open the conference by setting the context of a shift from business-as-usual practices to the ‘fourth industrial Revolution’, also known as Industry 4.0.

He will discuss how this concept in Germany is now moving to ‘Work 4.0’ as more people study the effect of new technology on jobs, and how this will affect the training sector.

Meanwhile, Prof. Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK, will talk about the Made Smarter review, the large government-supported review into the actions companies must take to train in and harness digital tools to grow and compete globally.

Maier’s review identified that over 10-years industrial digitalisation could boost UK manufacturing by £455 billion, increasing sector growth up to 3% per year; creating a net gain of 175,000 jobs whilst reducing CO2 emissions by 4.5%.

Directors from UK and German companies including Airbus, BMW, BASF, Bosch Thermotechnology, Peel Ports Group, T-Systems, Unipart, the TUC, automation trade body Gambica and more will also debate the changes in factory automation and digitised processes and how they will affect employment.

An afternoon session on logistics and finance processes will examine smart ports, including two talks from German companies on the near-fully autonomous Port of Hamburg which moves 40,000 containers a day with very few people.

Gary Hodgson, a director at Peel Port Group will also discuss the new Liverpool2 deep water port and Peel’s plans to use technology to make it a global port of choice.