CBR
search
Science and Technology

An aerial view of New Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: wikicommons)

Is Jamaica ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

An aerial view of New Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo: wikicommons)

Jamaican businesses must step up to the plate or be left behind during the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC), Tamar Nelson.

There is much waste in Jamaica’s systems because due to use of same technology and lack of improvements.

Forbes Magazine explains that, “The fourth Industrial Revolution is the concept of blurring the real world with the technological world. We can see this happening in several areas already. Virtual reality that allows us to transport to new worlds or consume and interact with information in new ways, robots and software working side-by-side with humans, nano-bots that could one day be injected into your blood stream to cure you of an illness, 3D printing tools and limbs, voice controlling your house, tools like IBM Watson being used to help a doctor diagnose you, and that’s just for starters!”

Nelson said many Jamaican businesses and people of working age do not realise the Fourth Industrial Revolution will come with “aggressive and faster changes than ever before in human history.” He made the point that, “research has shown us that in 2030, 85 per cent of jobs that will exist do not exist now. Example, 10 years ago in Jamaica we did not have social media managers, or podcasters, bloggers and meme creators.”

“Those who focus on manual labour and route learning will be left behind. If you are doing the same thing as last year, you are not being productive.”

– Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Productivity Centre, Tamar Nelson

The impact on the world of work, according to Nelson, is that, “the Fourth Industrial Revolution will change how we lead, manage recruiting, retraining and the composition of the work force.”

This means that the approach to work also needs to change. Nelson said employees “engage in constant reskilling and retooling. We must embrace lifelong learning. And in terms of soft skills the need for creativity and critical thinking is needed to cope with the changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Productivity Centre, Tamar Nelson

Additionally, Nelson said the unfortunate fact is “those who focus on manual labour and route learning will be left behind. If you are doing the same thing as last year, you are not being productive. There is a lot of waste in our system in Jamaica because we are using the same technology and not improving.”

IGI Global noted that, “The first industrial revolution (1714) used water and steam as the driving forces. The second (1870) was that of electricity and the division of labour. The third industrial revolution (1969) has been automation, electronics, and IT (information technology).”