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News - 8 May 2017
Will she be the first to go?

Robots and redundancies

The latest report from accountancy firm PwC on the rise of robots suggests that over 10 million jobs in the UK will be replaced by robots over the next 15 years.

The potential for jobs to be replaced by robots is laid out starkly and is not limited to traditionally robotised activities such as manufacturing.

According to the Report, up to 2.5 million jobs in the retail and wholesale sector are at risk - 44% of the total. In Transport and Storage, almost a million jobs are at risk - 56% of the total.

The report found that around 30% of jobs in the UK are at potential high risk of automation - with 34% in the private sector and 22% in the public sector.

SMEs are particularly at risk with 30% of employees in businesses employing fewer than 11 employees at high risk, and 32% of employees in businesses employing between 11 and 1000 employees at high risk.

Among the sectors least affected, Health and Social Work has 730,000 jobs at risk, 17% of the total.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence means robots may not be limited to doing jobs that involve repetitive manual operations.

The introduction of driverless vehicles may not be far off in the transport sector, but perhaps the most interesting developments will be in services and retail. Robots may be able to deliver tireless, consistently excellent customer service - but how will customers respond?


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