Supported by:

German British Forum

Digitalisation and The Future of Work – GBF Conference, 14 November 2017

Digitalisation and The Future of Work

In association with EEF, the German British Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Liverpool LEP and LCR 4.0

The 2017 German British Forum conference, “Digitalisation and The Future of Work”, will be held on 14th November 2017 at the Liverpool Town Hall, 08:30 – 17:00.

The conference will debate the challenges for recruitment and training for businesses in the age of digitalisation and automation.

How will jobs change in the future and how can we communicate this to the education sector? The conference focuses on manufacturing, engineering and logistics. Keynote speeches and panel discussions will exchange understanding of the future employment needs of industrial companies.

What are the aims of the UK’s Industrial Digitalisation Strategy? What is needed from education and business?
What has been done to improve manufacturing processes? How is this affecting modern training and college courses?
What is the future of moving product – Logistik 4.0 and “Smart Ports”?
What does the future of food retail recruitment look like?
How will transformation from a traditional industry to a digital/IT company be managed?

Speakers include:
•  Dr Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom
•  Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations
•  Prof. Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK
•  Dieter Geus, General Manager, Logistics, Plant Hams Hall, BMW
•  Carl Arntzen, CEO of BOSCH Thermotechnology Ltd
•  Mark Howard, Head of UK Research & Technology, Airbus
•  Gary Hodgson, Strategic Projects Director, Peel Ports Group which operates Liverpool2, the new deep-water container terminal capable of handling the largest vessels in the global fleet
•  Dr Frank-Stephan Hardt, chief financial officer of T-Systems Ltd
•  Alison Mitchell, CEO of Sensor City
•  Terry Scuoler, CEO of manufacturers’ organisation EEF
•  Burkhard Sommer, director of PwC Maritime Competence Centre in Hamburg
•  Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics
•  Prof. Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics in the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg
•  David Swann, CTO of Tharsus, makers of robotic systems for retail and industrial applications  •  Andrew Higgs, expert in maritime law, on the regulatory frameworks for unmanned ships
•  Plus panellists from DHL, University of Liverpool, Hugh Baird College, TUC and more

Following the conference, there will be a drinks reception and dinner which requires a separate ticket.


Tuesday 14-11-2017

08:45 - 09:00
Registration & Opening Address
Opening address: Dr Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the UK
09:00 - 09:15
Speaker:Chuka Umunna MP for Streatham

Main topic : Chuka will discuss digital automation and its impact on the labour market. He will address Brexit and how this may affect the UK’s digital industrial future.
09:15 - 09:40
The Industrial Digitalisation Strategy
Speaker: Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens UK

Main topic : The Industrial Digitalisation Strategy is a key component of Britain’s Industrial Strategy.
  • How UK industry can benefit from the accelerated adoption of digital technology across advanced manufacturing? And other sectors like logistics and construction?
  • What are the aims?
  • What is needed from education and business and what is the relation to the digitalisation programmes in Germany & Europe?

09:40 - 10:05
BMW: Digital Production Methods, now and tomorrow
Speaker: Dieter Geus, General Manager, Logistics, BMW Hams Hall

Main topic : Manufacturing processes at BMW are always changing to respond to customers needs and achieve quicker delivery.
  • What have the BMW UK plants done to improve these KPIs? How is this affecting training?
  • Which new technologies is BMW looking at? Composite materials and automated assembly, 3D printing of parts, laser identification of bespoke components to deliver mass customisation.

10:05 - 10:30
Robot warehouse management: Big efficiencies, new jobs
Speaker: David Swan, CTO, Tharsus

Tharsus Engineering is the provider of robotic delivery systems to large retailers, such as Ocado.
Main topic :
  • Tharsus will explore what the progressive journey to fully autonomous robotics looks like, and how they navigate their clients to delivering commercial optimum.
  • The speaker will share a vision of the future whilst building machines today that pay-back now, and how this has a greater impact on operational productivity and the bottom line.

10:30 - 11:00
11:05 - 11:25
Digital Disruption at BOSCH
Speaker: Carl Arntzen, CEO, BOSCH Thermotechnology Ltd
Main topic:
  • Impact of digitalisation on employment in the Bosch Group.
  • Changes to business models.
  • Smart Home Revolution.

11:30 - 11:50
Responding to new technology in large-scale assembly
Speaker : Mark Howard, Head of Research & Technology, Airbus
Main Topic: Airbus is changing its manufacturing practices constantly to deliver higher rates of production, and it must do this without disrupting current delivery schedules. Mark will discuss the areas of process automation Airbus is investing in, how it will save time and the effect on jobs.
11:45 - 12:05
The effect of digital on jobs in manufacturing - EEF, the manufacturers' organisation
Speaker : Terry Scuoler CBE, CEO of EEF
12:05 - 12:20
The impact of digitalisation on jobs and the economy
Speaker : Stephen Brambley, Director of Public Affairs, GAMBICA
Main Topic: Looking at the findings of several key academic and research studies, this session will compare short term displacement of jobs with the long term growth through productivity and new jobs and skills needed
12:20 - 12:50
Panel Session : Manufacturing and Industry
- Panel includes morning speakers plus Lynn Collins, NW Secretary, TUC.
-Q&A with the audience.
-Panellist main topics: :
  • Overview of current automation of specific jobs and taks.
  • How does this effect recruitment?
  • New job opportunities and the future of recruitment in the next decade.

12:50 - 14:00
14:00 - 14:05
The Future of Work - Afternoon introduction by : Alison Mitchell, CEO Sensor City
14:05 - 14:25
Speaker: Dr Frank-Stephan Hardt, CFO, T-Systems Ltd

Connecting the energy regimes with the communication system is seen as the fundamental step that shifts mankind from the Third to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The development of the digitised Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure enables the convergence of the energy infrastructure with the communication infrastructure which is seen as the kernel of the Third Industrial Revolution. Deutsche Telekom\T-Systems present two Smart City solutions – Smart Port Logistics and Air Pollution – which help multiple partners to accelerate their efficiency, increase their productivity and more importantly to establish a more sustainable low-carbon ecosystem to mitigate climate change.
14:25 - 14:50
Speaker: Burkhard D. Sommer, Co-Head, Maritime Competence Centre, PwC Germany

Main topic: SmartPort Logistics The march of digitalization is continuing to change logistics processes around the world. After many successful decades of digitalization and automation in contemporary ports, the next big step is to look at innovative ways for extracting more value from new and existing data sources to achieve competitive advantages. The trend is particularly driven by powerful information technology and paradigms already available and widely discussed in the port industry, including the internet of things, cloud computing, big data, blockchain, augmented reality — you name it. Under the umbrella of digital ports or smart ports, new innovative business models, concepts, and ideas have begun to be implemented.
14:50 - 15:15
Peel Ports
Speaker : Gary Hodgson, Strategic Projects Director, Peel Ports Group
Main Topic: Digitalisation is changing employment in port operations, material handling and logistics
  • Peel Ports was a prime contractor for constructing the new deep water port at Liverpool2
  • Only commercial port in UK that can handle new "SuezMax" container ships
  • Port operations are automating rapidly
  • The speaker will discuss how their current and future use of digital tools to handle high volumes of containers to and from the Liverpool port will change both the speed of delivery and the nature of employment in this fast-moving port industry

  • 15:15 - 15:35
    BASF Group
    Speakers: Tom Urwin, Head of Finance & Administration UK/Ireland, BASF
    Main topic: Finance-Road Map & Application of "Soft-bots” in Finance processes
    Details to follow.
    15:30 - 16:10
    Panel Debate: Logistics, Logistik 4.0 and smart ports
    Panel debate and Q&A with audience:
    Panellists from:
  • Potential guest speaker, DHL Supply Chain UK :
  • 16:05 - 16:20
    16:20 - 16:40
    Future of shipping: Legal implications of unmanned ships
    Speaker : Andrew M Higgs, Consultant Solicitor, Setford Solicitors
    Main topic: Andrew M Higgs, will speak about the legal implications of new unmanned ships, an emerging technology which is causing waves in the shipping sector.
    Currently there is no clear and obvious legal and regulatory framework for autonomous, unmanned or remotely-controlled merchant ships sailing in international waters. But with unmanned ships promising fewer accidents and human injuries at sea, and lower operating costs, this is set to change. 
    16:40 - 17:00
    Implications of rise of new technology in the Freight and Logistics sector
    Speaker :Lucy Hudson, Freight & Logistics Officer, Transport for the North
    Main Topic: Implications of the rise of innovative technology within the freight and logistics sector and how this is being applied to transportation in the North
    17:00 - 17:30
    Summary: “What next?”
    Speakers: Bob Bischof,Chairman of GBF , Frank-Stephan Hardt,Finance Director ,T-Systems

    Main topic:
    • How is technology affecting the way companies -especially those involved in manufacturing and logistics-Will recruit in the future?
    • How do the approaches to the “digitisation of jobs” in Germany and the United Kingdom differ?
    • Q&A with the audience.