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10 million jobs at risk from advancing technology

One in three jobs could be taken over by some form of technology in the next 20 years, new research has warned.

According to a joint report from Deloitte, the accountancy firm, and the University of Oxford, up to 10 million jobs could be taken over by computers or robots due to huge advances in technology. People earning less than £30,000 a year are five times more likely to see their jobs taken over by machines than those paid £100,000. This could lead to a risk of creating a under class of low skilled people who’s jobs will be automated, as low-paid, repetitive positions are most likely to be taken over.

The research shows that positions most likely to be taken over are in sectors such as administration, sales, transportation, construction, mining, energy and production. The 'safest’ jobs include those in computing, engineering and science and well as positions in skilled management, arts and media, law, education, healthcare and financial services.

Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner at Deloitte, said:

“Technological advances are likely to cause a major shift in the UK labour market in the coming decades. Unless these changes are fully understood and anticipated, there will be a risk of avoidable unemployment and under-employment.

“A widening gap between the 'haves’ and 'have nots’ is also a risk as lower skill jobs continue to disappear.”

The report has said that with some jobs disappearing, others will be created as new industries and positions will pop up, as well as positions requiring the skills that machines are unable to match. Mr Knowles-Cutler also talked about the steps we need to implement to avoid people losing out on jobs:

“The UK is well placed for this – in London we have highest level of graduates in the workforce in the EU, there’s been a lot of investment in robotics in industry so we’re not reliant on cheap labour,

“We need to be educating people five to 10 years away from the workplace with these skills, as well as with the basic broad-based skills of working hard and being able to work well with others.”

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