Automation could replace 1.5 million jobs

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Some 1.5 million people in England are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It says 70% of the roles at high risk of automation are currently held by women. Part-timers and the young are the next most at risk.

The ONS analysed the jobs of 20 million people in 2017 and found 7.4% of these were at high risk of being replaced.

It has developed a “bot” to show the risks for particular occupations.

The ONS defines automation as tasks currently carried out by workers being replaced with technology. That could mean computer programs, algorithms, or even robots.

The three occupations with the highest probability of automation are waiters and waitresses, shelf fillers and elementary sales occupations, all of which are low-skilled or routine.

Those at the lowest risk are medical practitioners, higher education teaching professionals, and senior professionals in education.

“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 ONS said.

It added it had looked into the automation of jobs as it could have an impact on the labour market, economy and society.

The ONS says there are fewer jobs at risk of automation now than was thought in 2011, from 8.1% to 7.4%, but the proportion of jobs at low and medium risk of automation has risen.

Source: https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/automation-could-replace-1-5-million-jobs/

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