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Are Young People’s Jobs Most At Risk From Automation?

Posted on: 17 Oct 2017

Research released by PwC shows the scale of automation expected in the UK economy and highlights which jobs are most at risk from these advances in technology.

According to the organisation, up to 28 per cent of young workers’ jobs in the UK could be at risk from automation in the coming 15 years, which presents a significant challenge. Young workers are defined as being aged 16 to 24.

However, the UK fares better than other nations, such as Germany where that figure is 38 per cent and the US, where 39 per cent of young people’s jobs are thought to be at risk. The key to helping this demographic of the workforce is education and training to enable them to move between careers, PwC revealed.

The introduction of greater automation isn’t all bad news though, as the research also noted that the arrival of AI-related technology will create more new jobs than it will take from this age group.

Careers that are likely to benefit most from high levels of AI technology are in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths. Here, just five per cent of roles are at risk of automation.

UK recruitment specialists may therefore find themselves searching for more candidates for these kinds of roles.

By contrast, in the wholesale and retail sectors, up to 44 per cent of jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years, and given that these are positions typically filled by those with lower levels of education, it highlights the need to encourage more young people into further education and training once they leave school.

Research published by Barclays last month noted that there is a growing digital skills gap in the UK, with 43 per cent of people in the UK saying they don’t have the digital skills required for their job.

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