Around 1.5 million jobs in England are at “high risk” of some of their duties being automated in the future, new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.
The report analysed the jobs of 20 million people in England in 2017 and has found that 7.4% are at high risk of automation.
It also reports that routine and repetitive tasks can be carried out more quickly and efficiently by an algorithm and this means the risk of automation tends to be higher for lower-skilled roles.
However, the report does not estimate how many jobs might be created because of automation, or provide a timescale of when roles might be automated.
Robots will create more jobs than they replace
Research from the World Economic Forum suggests that robots will take jobs, but they will also create them. It forecasts that by 2022, robotics and AI could create over 130 million jobs, this almost double the figure they are set to displace worldwide.
The report, which was published in the latter half of 2018, revealed that the rapid evolution of machines, robots and algorithms in the workplace could create 133 million new roles in place of 75 million that will be displaced in the next three years.
The figures are based on a survey of business chiefs and top strategy executives from companies across 12 industries and 20 developed and emerging economies, which collectively account for 70% of global GDP.
It also found that just over half (54%) of employees of large companies would need significant re and upskilling in order to fully harness the growth opportunities offered by digital transformation.
This could enable employees to learn how to fix and programme robotics and other advanced technologies in order to best apply these to businesses.
At a time when the population are more concerned than ever that robots will take their jobs, this report indicates that that’s not likely to happen. There will instead be a sizeable shift in the type of work they will undertake, higher-skilled and likely more varied, and that is not a bad thing.