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Rise of the robots

Technological advances are causing panic about what it will mean for jobs in the future. We’ve done some research into the introduction of robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the manufacturing industry and what impact it will have on jobs.

Predictions state that robots could take one third of British jobs by 2030 which sounds like a scary statistic!

Drilling down into the specifics, the industries most at risk are likely to be transportation & storage, manufacturing and wholesale & retail.

Working heavily within the manufacturing industry and looking back over the years we can already see how elements of automation have come in to play and ‘replaced’ manual labour, so it is understandable that people are starting to wonder what this will mean for them and their job.

It’s not all doom and gloom

It is important to remember that the introduction of robots and other AI into the workplace may mean a downturn in certain types of jobs but it will also create new jobs. New machinery will mean the introduction of new maintenance and programmer positions. It may also mean that with a new found efficiency on the shop floor, businesses can afford to employ more staff in other areas of the business creating new jobs and opportunities.

Proof it can be a good thing

Back in the early 19th century, as part of the Industrial revolution, the British textile industry went through a transformation when the Jacquard Loom machine was invented. This machine revolutionised the textile industry and meant that there was an initial downturn in the amount of skilled handloom weavers that were needed. However, in the long term, the improved efficiency this machine created within the industry, created wealth which lead to more jobs. Much more than were initially lost.

The shift from man power to tech power is sure to be a tricky transition but in the long run if it improves efficiency which means more successful UK businesses and a wealth of new jobs, surely that has to be a good thing for everyone?

Our advice

It is likely that changes within the manufacturing industry will be slow and gradual so there is no need for immediate panic but it always helps to be prepared.

If your role is manual and involves a lot of repetition and you think you could be at risk in the future, take any opportunity to further your skill set and add more strings to your bow. Ask about internal training programmes and look into government schemes for further training.

Keep an open mind and try to see beyond your current role. What other areas interest you? What other roles would you be eligible for with your knowledge and transferable skills?

Change is inevitable but if you are prepared it could be an exciting new challenge rather than a shock transition.



Source - PWC article, UK Economical Outlook, March 2017