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How New Technology is Changing the face of Skilled Trades

Skilled trades have been around for centuries and are an important part of the global economy. But in recent years, advances in technology have caused significant changes to the way these jobs are performed.

From automation to virtual reality training and 3D printing tools, new technologies are beginning to revolutionize the skilled trades industry. In this blog post, we will explore how new technology is transforming skilled trade occupations and what potential benefits could arise from this transformation.

We’ll also examine some of the implications for job security related to these technological advancements. Finally, we’ll discuss potential future trends that could affect this sector even more dramatically over time.


1. Skilled trades and how new technology is affecting them


The world of skilled trades is changing rapidly due to new technology. The new tools and innovations are transforming the way that skilled tradespeople work, streamlining processes, increasing safety, and boosting efficiency.

For example, augmented reality is being implemented in the construction industry to provide a new level of worksite instructions and improved accuracy on projects.

Meanwhile, machine learning has been used to optimize production line processes while also providing cost-effective solutions for businesses. Skilled trades are also able to use new technology to help facilitate communication and collaboration with colleagues across long distances.

Ultimately, new technology is having a significant impact on how skilled tradespeople do their jobs today, creating new opportunities and improved outcomes for those involved in all aspects of this growing industry.


2. The impact of automation on skilled trades


Automation and the integration of new technology has had a sizable impact on Canada’s skilled trades sector. Automation has brought forward new areas of potential, replacing manual labor with automation-driven processes.

This means that new specialized skills are now required, often offering better long-term job security. Automation and new technology has also made the acquisition of these skills much easier, opening up paths to those who may not have been able to pursue them in the past such as women and minorities.

As automation continues to be integrated into skilled trades throughout country, it is important to remember it is being used to supplement rather than replace human knowledge and creativity.


3. How virtual reality is being used in training for skilled trades


Virtual reality is quickly becoming a crucial part of training for skilled trades. In Canada, virtual reality is being used to prepare apprentices for the dangers and complexities associated with their roles in a broad range of industries including construction, mining and aviation/aerospace.

By entering virtual 3D environments, these learners can hone their skills from a safe distance and practice different scenarios before ever stepping foot into an industrial environment. This immersive, virtual experience can help reduce error that could be costly or dangerous in real-world situations by simulating the same environment they would face day-to-day at their job.

Virtual reality technology has enabled students to experience realistic tasks with virtual tools and equipment as if they were actually present in the environment, making virtual reality an invaluable tool for training all types of skilled tradespeople.


4. The potential benefits of using 3D printing to create tools and parts for skilled trades


3D printing technology is revolutionizing the way skilled trades in Canada operate. 3D printing has the potential to reduce costs, improve accuracy, as well as create opportunities for customized tools and parts.

3D printing has been adopted by a variety of industrial fields including automotive and aerospace, where it has proven successful. 3D printing technology could offer numerous advantages to skilled trades such as quicker production times, greater architectural stability and improved mechanisms.

3D printed tools and parts can also be produced with unique shapes and sizes that may not be achievable using traditional manufacturing methods.

As 3D printing continues to advance, there are numerous potential benefits for skilled trades within Canada including opportunities for those considering a career in the trades.


5. How artificial intelligence is being used to improve safety in certain types of work environments


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an increasingly popular tool that many Canadian companies are beginning to embrace to improve safety in their work environments.

AI has the potential to preempt suspicious activity and alert supervisors in dangerous scenarios, as well as monitor employee compliance with safety protocols and regulations. AI can also analyze safety risks in certain workplaces, identifying areas that may pose a greater risk than others and suggesting preventative measures or protective gear for personnel.

AI even has the potential to one day be utilized for potentially hazardous labor for which humans would otherwise need to be put at risk. AI technology has opened a world of possibilities when it comes to improving the safety of employees working in a specific environment, ultimately making it safer for everyone involved.


6. The implications that new technologies have on job security within skilled trade positions


New technologies have had far reaching implications on job security within the skilled trade sector. As automation and artificial intelligence continue to advance, the need for human labor in certain skilled trade industries continues to be reduced.

For instance, welding robots are becoming more commonplace in the shipbuilding industry, which is a field that traditionally employed many highly-skilled welders. Although these new machines are not capable of replacing all the work that humans do, they are becoming increasingly effective at accomplishing specific tasks and can often do it faster than their human counterparts.

This technology can bring higher levels of efficiency to some industries but at the same time weaken job security for workers within those organizations. Because of this, people who work in such trades must become more proactive in acquiring additional skills and certifications to remain competitive in their fields and ensure their long-term job security; however, as we transition into a digitally-driven economy, this may not be enough for some people already employed within these areas.


7. Changes that are occurring due to advances in technology and potential future trends in the skilled trades in Canada


Advances in technology have and will continue to cause significant changes in all skilled trades sectors in Canada. With these changes, comes opportunity. New technologies and changes to existing tech have created not only the need for workers to have new training, knowledge and skills to utilize this equipment but also exciting new jobs that support and foster advancing technology.

This impacts those currently employed in manufacturing, construction, and transportation and in particular, our aging workforce who are unlikely to upgrade their existing skills. Trends suggest that as changes occur increasingly faster technology will become more efficient while greatly shrinking the number of workers needed in many roles.

In Canada, we are already seeing a smaller number of employees being hired in certain trades as technology takes on more of the traditional labour force roles. We can further speculate changes into the future with the development of artificial intelligence based machines taking over some labour intensive jobs.

While changes will continue it is important that we maintain adequate training and reinforcement for those entering these fields to ensure they are ready to remain competitive not just from a knowledge standpoint, but also from a safety perspective when around new technological developments.

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