Our employment future

A recent survey by UK recruiters Reed has asked ‘What does the future of work look like in a world of AI and robotics?’

Reed surveyed over 2,000 workers from all sectors, ages and job levels to try to understand what jobs people think are most at risk of rising automation and how people are preparing for the changes technology and automation will make to the job market.

What jobs are most at risk of rising automation and advances in technology? And how are people preparing for the changes technology and automation will make to the jobs market?

Here are their top five takeaways…

61% of those surveyed think tech could take their jobs within the next 10 years.

Whether it’s through computers, automation or robotics, our survey suggests that UK workers are worried about the rise of technology in the workplace. As a result, nearly two thirds think they could be replaced by tech within the next decade.

Admin & customer service seen as most at risk.

When it came to the positions most likely to be affected, our survey results were fairly conclusive.

The top five positions perceived as most at risk from advances in automation were:

  • Factory workers
  • Receptionist
  • Telemarketers
  • Customer service
  • Librarians

Why? There have been some examples of these roles being replaced already, including Boston Dynamics creation ‘Handle’, and the Chinese-based Changying Precision Technology Company. The latter of whom produce mobile phones and use automated production lines, allowing a factory previously run by 650 employees to downscale to just 60 people to get the job done.

The top five positions perceived as least at risk were:

  • Doctors
  • Vets
  • Chefs
  • Scientists
  • Social workers

Why? They require the most human interaction, as well as the ability to demonstrate empathy – an area our respondents felt robotics/AI are currently lacking.

Half of UK workers fear their role is going to be replaced.

When asked about their own position, 50% of people think they might be replaced by robots, AI or automation within the next 10 years.

This was consistent across almost every industry – showing not everyone feels completely safe when it comes to the future of their career

55% said tech has improved their working lives
Instead of being fearful of technology, more than half of us believe tech has made our working lives easier.

The biggest areas of improvement, in order or importance, were:

  • Processes quicker to complete
  • Menial tasks easier to manage
  • Fewer errors made
  • More time for complex tasks
  • Better thought out decisions

Majority of staff see tech as an opportunity to add to their skillset
55% of respondents said they were likely to develop their skills in new areas to keep up with advancements in technology.

And with 1 in 10 of us stating that we’re already doing so, particularly among those aged 18-24 years old, it seems using tech to help us rather than hinder us could be the key to moving our careers forward.

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