In this article, we will make you aware of the skills which are important to secure Mechanical Engineering Jobs in the nearby future. You might have heard about the Industrial slowdowns recently especially in the field of mechanical and automobile engineering. The reasons behind that may be valid from a business point of view like reducing demand, sells drop-down, etc. But, what about the Decreasing Employability?
This is the main concern nowadays among all the youths of India. So, we all have to understand the scenario and mould ourselves according to the dynamically changing market to survive.
The Indian automotive industry is seeing a significant transformation concerning its sustainable growth and profitability. The industry is crucial for the economy as it accounts for 7.1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and as per Automotive Mission Plan (AMP) 2016–26, its contribution is projected to increase to 12%. India will emerge as the world’s third-largest passenger vehicle market by 2021.
The industry attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth US$20.85 billion during the period April 2000 to December 2018, according to data released by the Government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). In this scenario, India’s automotive industry (including component manufacturing) can reach US$51.4–282.8 billion by 2026.
Several key trends are shaping the industry today. They will have a significant bearing on its ability to realize the objectives of the AMP. In addition to the automation of various processes to meet these goals, the sector is also expected to generate additional direct and indirect jobs.
Future Skills in Mechanical Engineering Jobs:
The automotive sector has been a major employer in India for decades. As per the Automotive Mission Plan 2016-26 (AMP 2016-26), it is poised to become one of the largest job-creating engines in the Indian economy with approximately 65 million Mechanical Engineering Jobs (Automobile) being added in the next decade.
However, jobs in the sector and associated skills are rapidly evolving. And, many new jobs expected to add to the employment landscape in the next three to five years. Skill-related demands from existing Mechanical Engineering Jobs will also be different. The industry has been investing heavily in automation and digitization over the past few years – this is true for Indian as well as global players operating in India and the trend is likely to continue.
Robots have enabled almost 70 to 100 percent automation in weld shops, press shops, cast shops and paint shops. They are further penetrating into assembly operations to enable a higher degree of automation and lower costs for the manufacturer.
When we studied the Industry 4.0 concept and various Reports on the Indian Automotive Industry, we found some interesting views on skills that will assume significance in the future. Based on the views of the industry, we have outlined the skill buckets that will be most relevant.
Jobs in Mechatronics:
The shift to EVs and HVs will fuel the demand for specialists in mechatronic engineering. From electrical motor control to battery and power management, sensor-making to computational skills, employers will be looking for talent specializing in this growing sector.
Note: Mechatronics, which is also called mechatronic engineering is a multidisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the engineering of both electrical and mechanical systems, and includes a combination of robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, controls and product engineering.
Jobs in AI and Machine Learning (ML):
Automation and connectedness became the centre of the automotive industry. So, AI and ML will play an integral role in vehicles and factories of the future. Understanding how AI works and its application in the automotive context will become critical for employees across organisations and deep skills will be required in R&D, production, supply chains and services.
Jobs in Robotics:
Robots and their usage in automotive manufacturing are not new. However, given the speed of change and shortening of cycle time, their usage has accelerated and their application gone beyond manufacturing processes. Skills to be built for robotics do not only involve coding applications for robots in vehicle-manufacturing, but also encompass its usage in R&D.
Jobs in the Digital field:
In today’s world, customers are viewing almost everything as an experience. In the past, every customer would visit a dealership to experience a vehicle. But, today almost every customer is ‘experiencing’ vehicles online.
Many of them would have already decided or narrowed down on the vehicles of their choice. It is based on online research and crowd-sourced views gathered through their peer networks. Digitization of the entire value chain is required to serve this new customer, anywhere and anytime.
Data Mining and Analytics:
Designing and assembling vehicles have become increasingly complex with the integration of automation and IoT. Additionally, the design to dealership shelf cycle is shortening. To cope with these constraints, organisations must deploy tools that can collate, analyse and generate insights from data collected from every life cycle stage of a vehicle – design to production.
In addition to these skills, some certain nontechnical skills and competencies will assume increased significance going forward. Problem-solving and decision-making will continue to be a necessary foundational skill for employees across levels.
Agility in learning and adapting to changes will be amongst some other important competencies required. From a leadership perspective, leading and managing change will be critical.
“Skilled talent is available but in a fragmented manner and may not possess the skills of the future. There is a need for close partnership with ITIs and other educational Institutes to update curriculum and create a steady flow of talent equipped with future skills. There is a need to build a complete ecosystem for learning. This cannot done in isolation. The next three to five years are very critical for India from the skill building perspective for the Indian automotive industry.”
– Chairman of a leading auto component manufacturer
Training conducted for engineers, operators, technicians and shop floor workers in the Indian automotive industry may not be useful after two or three years. Industry leaders envisage that as EVs come into the mainstream, a requirement for components, engines and batteries will change significantly with the number of parts becoming fewer but more sophisticated.
This will require operators and their supervisors on the shop floor, along with technicians, to acquire these new skills fast. Requirement is:
Up-skilling in the following areas:
Mechatronics, telematics, robotics, Auto-Tronics, data analytics, lean manufacturing, process knowledge, quality core tools training. Computer-aided engineering, robotics, programmable logic control, 3D modelling software and machine- handling skills.
Building functional capabilities:
Capacity for innovation, emotional intelligence and the ability to adapt to different cultures
- Focus on building ‘multi-hatted’ talent with combined business and technical acumen to enhance cross-functional execution capability and credibility
- Promoting lifelong learning and adaptability through regular re-skilling to meet changes in market events or business models
- Revisiting corporate training programmes and augmenting these with open online courses and other externally available content.
“While automation is non-negotiable and going to benefit the industry in many ways. Its perceived impact on employment has been articulated as a concern by many people. With automation, there will be an increased need for skilled workforce in new areas and their ability to implement and manage the new automated workplace. Furthermore, certain complex manufacturing jobs may not lend themselves to automation and will continue to need human intervention. In this background, we will have to constantly work on training and re-skilling our people to keep their skills current and relevant.”
– HR leader at a leading OEM