Latest automation and technologies are observed to be spreading all across the globe which is primarily changing various industries including textile, footwear and apparel and this technologies aims at enhancing the environmental sustainability, productivity and efficiency at factory level. It is observed that textile industry is one of the major industry of Bangladesh and Bangladesh is among the nations which is adopting latest technologies at factory level. However, this utilising of technology like Sewbot in textile industry is significantly affecting the sustainable livelihoods of the workers. This essay aims at analysing the threat of latest technologies on the sustainable livelihoods of the workers at Bangladesh textile industry.
The 4th industrial revolution is observed to be underway and is getting a series of the upheavals. Artificiall intelligence, machine learning, automation, and robotics are slowly getting into the production procedure all across the globe (Rumi et al. 2021). These key breakthroughs in production procedure will have negative impact on employment rate and the economy of Bangladesh. As an outcome of such automation, the demand for workforce in it’s textile or rather RMG (ready-made garments) sector is reducing and future for such RMG labours is bleak (Ehsan 2021). Introduction of such machinery in manufacturing procedures of this sector has higher possibility of influencing the semi-skilled and unskilled labours negatively in comparision to the skilled labours. The RMG (ready-made garments) sector is observed to be major source of manufacturing employment in this nation. Nevertheless, as per the ILO (international labour organisation) and a2i project of government about sixty per cent that is 5.38 million of workers at this industry in Bangladesh will eventually become jobless by the end of 2030 and will be replaced by the robots because of the automation taking place in RMG sector.
Software Automation Inc of Atlanta had launched its completely autonomous machinery, Sewbot, which can significantly affect the traditional method of sewing in the textile industry and revolutionize the $100 billion sewing sector. It was formally introduced in the year 2012, and from the initial days, Sewbots were built up as automated, advanced technology which could enable this industry in cutting down the overall cost and enhance its overall efficiency. Software Automation Inc. claims that its Sewbot can enhance the output or productivity by 150 per cent for many sewing procedures. This is one of the major technology or automation which has been affecting the employment rate in the textile industry of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a developing country which is well-known for having huge supply of reasonable labour. The textile sector of this country has played a crucial role in improving the overall economy of this country. It has been found that this sector has created several employment opportunities across the country, reduced the total quantity of people who were living in unsounding condition or poverty and fostered the women empowerment. Thus, it can be said that textile or garment sector was the key reason why the female labour participation enhanced in the nation (Raihan and Bidisha 2018). On downside, the key challenge or the nation faces is that huge portion of workers who were employed in the RMG industry are unskilled. Thus, the unskilled staffs are losing jobs as the demand for the skilled labours is enhancing due to automation in the industry.