The smart factories of Industry 4.0 are set to spark a revolution in the manufacturing industry, and Sweden is becoming one of the frontrunners

Just as steam power was the driver behind the first industrial revolution, electricity the second and computers the third, the internet of things will be responsible for the fourth. It is the enabler that will allow manufacturers to connect all machines, products and services to one central wireless network. Machines will communicate, for example, their status and which parts need to be replaced. Products will share information, for example about the required colour or size.

The benefits of smart factories are almost impossible to overestimate – not only will they speed up production process and reduce costs, they also allow for the production of personalised items for individual consumers. It´s therefore no surprise that both the Swedish government and the manufacturers have been working hard on implementing smart technology. According to a recent study by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute  Sweden is among the top 5 nations globally who have smart factory initiatives in place today.

Since the industrial sector and services together for 77% of the total value of Swedish exports, the digital revolution of the industry is high on the priority list of the government. The Swedish government recently published a report, stating that it want to stimulate the development and use of digital technologies that have the greatest potential to lead the industrial sector’s transformation.

The new developments are part of the reason that Sweden is a hotspot for engineering professionals from all over the world. According to a survey by Michael Page the country ranks 10th in the list of most popular career destinations for job candidates in engineering who are willing to relocate.

Frontrunner of the revolution

The frontrunners of the 4th industrial revolution can be found in Germany, where internationals like Siemens, Bosch and Volkswagen lead the pack. It’s no coincidence that Industry 4.0 was one of the most important topics at the Hanover Messe, the yearly gathering of the German manufacturing industry. According to a recent study by PwC, companies worldwide will invest more than 860 billion EUR on Internet of Things (IoT) in the coming two years.

The adoption of IoT makes Germany, whose economy is primarily driven by the manufacturing sector, a global hotspot for engineers. According to a recent survey by PageGroup, conducted among more 1,900 engineers worldwide, the country is proving the most popular destination for candidates looking to further career abroad. Of all the engineers who were willing to relocate, 48% see Germany as the destination that will provide the best environment for opportunities. Since many German companies are involved in advanced and applied research, it is one of the most important global hubs for R&D for the engineering and technology sectors.

Latin America upcoming destination

On a global level countries in the Latin America are surprising popular among engineering expats. Almost 25% of engineers, for example, are willing to relocate would consider moving to Argentina, which is planning on investing in huge infrastructure projects in the upcoming years. The government recently signed a letter of intent to cooperate closely with big international firms, like Siemens, to develop solutions in the fields of energy, transport and intelligent cities, which would lead to thousands of new jobs.

Developing markets frontrunner in renewable energy

One of the focuses of the investments of the Argentinian government will be renewable energy, which is part of a general trend in Latin American countries and in other emerging markets.

According to a recent report by the United Nations, the developing markets are now outspending industrialised nations on renewable energy. They have spent 145 billion EUR to date on renewable projects using sources like wind and solar, whereas developed nations only spent 120 billion EUR. South American countries like Chile, Brazil and Mexico are in the top 10 of highest spenders in the world, which goes some way to explaining why so many Latin American countries are in the top 25 of most popular destinations for engineers.

Ranking global hotspots for engineering professionals

For Trend Watch PageGroup surveyed 18352 job seekers worldwide, who applied on our Michael Page and Page Personnel websites during the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Of the 1935 engineering professionals who participated in the study, 73% were willing to relocate, for job opportunities, a better salary or a different lifestyle. 

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