WEB & TECH / NOV. 20, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Ten Million UK Jobs Endangered by Robots and Automation

Within the next two decades, British workers could see robots and other advance technology take over their jobs.

According to a new study by Deloitte, ten million jobs are at risk of being taken over by automotive systems because of a higher demand in skills.

In 20 years “jobs requiring repetitive processing, clerical and support services, [will be] replaced with roles requiring digital, management and creative skills.”

What most employers are looking for now are staff members that possess an entrepreneurial approach with problem-solving skills and digital knowledge.   

Researchers Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford Martin School conducted a similar study in 2013 regarding the job market in the United States, and now evidence shows that the UK will also endure a severe android invasion. 

The study reveals:

  • Automation is a high threat to 35 percent of the jobs in the UK, including customer service, sales, administration, transportation, production, and construction work.
  • Automation is a low threat to 40 percent of the jobs in the UK, including arts and media, community service, engineering, and legal services.

London is evidently much safer when it comes to job security. Fifty-one percent of job positions in the area are at low-risk of being replaced by robots. 

Since the city has more jobs that require creative human skills and employs the highest number of college graduates in the UK, London workers won’t have to worry about completely surrendering to machine workers.

Some businesses in the capital city are already planning on adding more workers to their workplace in the next five to ten years. 

The study questioned 100 companies in London and 73 percent stated that technological advancements would encourage them to expand the number of workers they currently employ.

While London is losing up to 3 percent of jobs per year, 300,000 positions will more than likely be created for those skills that robots just can’t match up to successfully.

Yet, Deloitte’s report claims that low-skilled occupations paying £30,000 or less will be five times more likely to be substituted for more advanced technology systems. 

Although predictions show that a higher percentage of high-skilled jobs is the least likely to be affected by automation, Deloitte’s senior partner Angus Knowles-Cutler thinks that this will be a time of contrasting experiences for the UK labour market.

What it comes down to is: either people will experience loss or opportunity within the workforce.

He suggests that employers prepare workers for skills that could very well be embezzled by technology.

“Unless these changes coming in the next two decades are fully understood and anticipated by businesses, policy makers and educators, there will be a risk of avoidable unemployment and under-employment,” noted Knowles-Cutler. “A widening gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is also a risk as lower skill jobs continue to disappear.”

Knowles-Cutler says, however, that the UK may prove to be able to balance out the employment division experienced within the next several years.

For every low-skilled trade lost to automation, he claims that one high-skilled job will always be created to replace it.

Therefore, it’s up to workers to improve their work performance by learning and cultivating new skills that will help to secure their job position against a robot.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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