Businesses Need To Equip Employees With Digital Skills Before Robots Take Their Jobs
A new report has revealed that 30% of all UK jobs are under threat from the rise of artificial intelligence – with 2.5 million retail jobs at risk
UK businesses are being urged to equip their employees with digital skills before artificial intelligence (AI) makes their role redundant, according to a new report by PwC.
It’s now estimated that more than 10 million UK employees risk losing their jobs within the next 15 years as more and more routine tasks are being automated – with 30% of the workforce potentially at risk.
When broken down by sector, the wholesale and retail industry is most likely to bear the brunt of digitalisation with 2.25 million workers on the brink of being let go.
This is followed by 1.2 million in manufacturing, 1.1 million in administrative and support services and 950,000 in transport and storage.
It’s predicted that while such an automation process will actually boost productivity and create new job opportunities, as robots will be used for more low-skill tasks, the redundancies will disproportionally affect poorer people – who may not have the ability to upskill.
Chas Moloney, director of Ricoh UK, said:
“Businesses need to start preparing for the arrival of robots in the workplace by equipping employees with the appropriate digital skills to adapt to rapidly changing job roles.
“The rise of AI will have profound ramifications for all industries and ensuring workers are supported through tech training and a clear digital career path is vital for companies seeking to thrive in an increasingly disruptive economy.”
John Hawksworth, PwC’s chief economist, said:
“Automating more manual and repetitive tasks will eliminate some existing jobs but could also enable some workers to focus on higher value, more rewarding and creative work, removing the monotony from our day jobs.
“By boosting productivity – a key UK weakness over the past decade – and so generating wealth, advances in robotics and AI should also create additional jobs in less automatable parts of the economy as this extra wealth is spent or invested.”