With the retirement age rising in France, automation is key to preserving knowledge and preventing worker burnout


Say Jocelyn PeynetFrench director, Universal Robots

The new pension reform will raise the retirement age in France from 62 to 64. Wthis clay will have a positive impact on supply of labor in a country beset by growing labor and skills shortagesSit means too manufacturing industry have to do more for maintain senior workers and improve the work environment.

France is the seventh largest economy in the world. The industrial sector is very vital with a contribution of nearly 17% of GDP. Manufacturing plays a key role in creating jobs and driving growth.

But, like in many other countries, trouble lies ahead. The French Institute for Statistics and National Economic Studies emphasizes that 67% of business leaders report difficulties in hiring. The situation is particularly tense in the food processing and electrical equipment sectors, but also affects certain professions such as mold makers, polishers and welders. According to recruitment agency Randstad, around 4,500 manufacturing and production positions are currently vacant in France.

The reason is simple: there are fewer workers to fill positions because the working-age cohort in France has shrunk by 755,000 people in the last 10 years according to UN population prospects. Looking at the working population in 2043, France’s working age population is expected to decrease by 1.8 million.

In addition, industrial jobs are considered unattractive. Musculoskeletal problems sometimes lead to early exclusion from the labor market, sometimes as young as 45 years. This has serious humanitarian consequences for each individual, and at the same time the company loses the experience and knowledge of skilled senior workers. As manufacturers find it increasingly difficult to keep pace by hiring young people, it is also increasingly difficult to pass skills on between generations.


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