Technological advancements to put one third of UK jobs at risk

Advances in technology could see one in three current job roles wiped out and replaced by computers or robots during the next 20 years, new research has claimed.


This would account for around ten million people – based on the current working population of around 30.75m.


People earning less than £30,000 a year are five times more likely to see machines replace their roles than those earning £100,000 or more


Around 35% of all jobs are set to be made redundant according to the joint report from Deloitte, the Big Four, and the University of Oxford.


An under-class of low skilled workers is the primary concern identified in the report as some roles are more likely to be replaced by machines than others.


Areas where skills or creativity will be required are less likely to be affected by automation processes as robots cannot replicate human thought.


A major shift in the UK labour market is still expected and firms will likely consider their own interests when deciding what action to take.


Reducing the wage could have a significant impact on the finances of a business – especially if roles could be replaced by machines.


Seeking business restructuring advice may help to identify particular areas where savings could be made, especially if unnecessary spending is creating a risky financial situation.


Administration, sales, transportation and manufacturing roles are thought to be among those most at risk should technology take over.


The report – which focused on London – suggested that 65% of librarians and nearly half of secretaries had lost their jobs since 2001, as firms look to streamline their business.


Other jobs such as those in computing, engineering and science are expected to resist technological advancement, as are roles in the arts and media, law, education, health and financial sectors.


Importantly for the jobs market, the number of jobs created in the future is expected to outnumber those lost to technological advancement.


However, this will require people to have the necessary knowledge and skills in order to fulfil these roles – although London is well placed, as it has the highest number of skilled jobs of anywhere in the world.


By Phil Smith


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