Lahore: In order to accelerate sustainable growth, Pakistan has to improve its obsolete technology in all various fields. This would mean that the construction sector would remain the only option for unskilled workers.
Currently, more than 70% of industrial workers are either skilled or semi-skilled who have gained some knowledge of the job through on-the-job training. They did not receive proper training due to their low literacy rate.
Due to this defect, he could not graduate as a semi-skilled during his career. The dilemma of Pakistan’s economy is that it desperately needs technology upgrades.
However, improved unskilled workforce will be laid off with the upgrade of technology.
A glimpse of the power of technology came a decade ago when most spinning mills installed laser detectors to remove contaminants from cotton bales before the spinning process began.
It laid off 300-500 workers who picked foreign materials from cotton. Most of them were women.
In the last 15 years, laser detectors have taken over 200,000 jobs that required only 3-4 workers. As this process was gradually adopted by various mills, its impact was absorbed by the labor market.
But if the technology is upgraded tomorrow, the effect will be sudden and painful for the semi-skilled worker. Currently, an average spinning mill employs 600-600 workers in 500 years, up from 1000-1-1100 workers 15 years ago.
Now the spinners are in the process of further upgrading their tackles. Those who have done this have reduced their manpower to 150-200 workers. Despite this, their productivity is very high.
Ordinary plastic molding machines produce one piece at a time and use more power. Modern machines are very fast because they break into 4-8 pieces when used in the same power.
Thus, along with the manpower, the cost has also come down significantly. In pharmaceuticals, pellet making machines have been replaced by robotic machines.
All you have to do is feed the inputs and the machine is 100 times faster than the rest of the prototype machines. Not only does this increase productivity but it also replaces the manpower needed to handle hundreds of obsolete machines.
It is the power of industrial technology that is just beginning to enter Pakistan. Sooner or later every manufacturer will have to upgrade or go out of production.
Investors are looking for skilled workers, and for some high-tech projects, they have started training trained workers through foreign experts. Some have even sent their employees abroad for training.
This is a good omen, but it needs to be accelerated. We can’t wait for decades for technology to keep pace with our regional economies.
Failure to upgrade on time will result in permanent loss of global markets. Right now, most of our cement sector is almost on par with its regional counterparts in technology, which is also why it is competitive.
Most industrial sectors need a complete overhaul as they work on 20th century technology in the 21st century, where researchers stop armed players every five years by creating, purchasing and marketing better methods.
But the dilemma is that if we succeed in rapidly upgrading our technology, we will become a killer with a very skilled workforce.
Most of them are absorbed in the construction sector. Therefore, the current pace of construction is good. But the sector will have to double its activities in the next decade to absorb its manpower, which will become unemployed after technological advancement in industries.
Another more appropriate step would be to increase the skill level of our workforce. The apparel sector is another way that is laborious.
Women are an integral part of this sector. It will be an honor for the industry to upgrade their capabilities. Although there is a severe shortage of stitchers in the market, almost all the garment manufacturers are training women in their premises.
State assistance in this regard will go a long way. If it actively helps industries improve the skills of their workers, it can also defuse the unemployment bomb.
Once our industries upgrade to technology, they will automatically lean towards skills training. If the workers lack the required skills, there will be no jobs in most of the manufacturing sector.