Friday 12 March 2021

*UKHotViewsExtra* Winners and losers from the rush to automate

automationSince the start of the pandemic, we have been consistently saying that automation is likely to be one of the “winners” from a COVID-led acceleration to digital. Indeed, anecdotally we have heard of lots of use cases across different sectors where COVID has led to the adoption of tech to undertake previously manual tasks. The shift to online, the need to socially distance, the cost of PPE, staff in isolation etc., all make the economic case for machines more compelling.

With this in mind the headline of an article published earlier this week in Information Age on the likely impact of automation on the UK labour market over the next year or so, really caught my eye. The article was based on a research study by Faethm AI with a pretty scary headline proclaiming that 1.4m UK jobs are at risk of automation over the next twelve months. Frightening stuff, all at a time when unemployment is rising. As with all these types of articles, when you get beyond the headline the findings are much more nuanced, and it does point to winners and losers in the rush to automate.

What I have seen in the market to date is ‘parts of jobs’ being automated rather than whole roles disappearing overnight. The knock on from this, is that whilst I have not yet seen examples of swathes of redundancies directly related to automation, I have heard of organisations planning less recruitment and indeed not filling roles when they become vacant. This will over time reduce the number of people working in particular types of roles. The Faethm AI research points to the wholesale and retail and financial services sectors as most at risk of being automated, with a combined 9% of work (the equivalent of 932,000 full-time roles) being potentially automatable….read more here

HV premiumTechMarketView subscribers, including those signed up to UKHotViewsPremium can read the rest of Winners and losers from the rush to automate hereIf you are not yet a subscriber, please contact Deb Seth to find out how to access this and much more.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '08:48' - Tagged: automation