Robots will replace humans, take our jobs

More than one third of UK jobs could be replaced by technology, automation and robotics in the next 20 years with the biggest losses expected in London, according to research.

Lower-paid jobs are five times more likely to be at risk countrywide, but this rises to eight per cent in London.

The research, which was carried by Deloitte alongside the University of Oxford, exposed most of the jobs that currently require repetitive processing, clerical and support services will be replaced with roles requiring digital, management and creative skills.

"Skilled cities like London are incubators for new ideas and products. With the right policies, London can be at the front-line in developing the next generation of digital technologies," said Carl Benedikt Frey, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford.

"To remain a world leading city, London needs to manage the transition of its workforce into new occupations and industries, as it has done so successfully in the past."

It's not all doom and gloom for the jobs market though. Of the businesses based in London questioned, almost three-quarters (73 per cent) said they plan to increase their headcount in the next five years, with just over half (51 per cent) saying they will increase the headcount by at least 10 per cent.

However, many businesses (84 per cent of those surveyed) think digital is the way to go and, as a result, their employees must learn these skills if they don't already possess them.

Businesses, policy makers and educators need to understand the changes expected and should take action now to ensure under-employment isn't an issue, according to Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner at Deloitte.

"Across the UK, there are reasons to be positive, the economy is recovering and job growth is coming from dynamic businesses, hiring faster than the national average," he said.

"But below the headline numbers things are changing fast, and the challenges, right across the UK, are evident. The likely loss of lower paid jobs is a real concern, and the new skills that employers will need in the future deserves close attention."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.