Tech

1.5 million jobs are at ‘high risk’ of automation

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By James Sillars, business reporter

More than 1.5 million people in England are in jobs where there is a "high risk" of automation, according to the Office for National Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Women, those in part-time roles and young people are likeliest to be affected by technology – including software and robots – taking some of their responsibilities in the future.

According to the ONS study, women hold 70% of the jobs in danger of being lost as a result of automation.

It said that the role and experience – not working patterns – were the biggest factors in determining risk.

The study concluded that it was possible that automation has already had an effect on the labour market, as the proportion of jobs at a high risk of automation has fallen from an earlier reading of 8.1% to 7.4%.

Self-service checkouts are one example of automation taking tasks away from human workers.

Image: Till operators are among those most at risk as self-service and online grocery shopping grow

The ONS has suggested that new jobs in the economy are likelier to be more complex and require less routine skills.

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Where a person lives is also a factor, it said, because a local economy can be quite focused on a certain industry – such as agriculture.

The report said: "It is not so much that robots are taking over, but that routine and repetitive tasks can be carried out more quickly and efficiently by an algorithm written by a human, or a machine designed for one specific function.

"The risk of automation tends to be higher for lower-skilled roles for this reason."

The three occupations with the highest probability of automation were waiters and waitresses, shelf fillers and those with entry-level sales roles, according to the study.

The three at the lowest risk were medical practitioners, higher education teaching professionals and "senior professionals of educational establishments".

Jane Fielding, employment partner at the law firm Gowling, said: "AutomRead More – Source

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