Automation could put ‘3.6M UK jobs at risk’

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Automation could lead to a loss of 3.6M jobs in the UK by 2030, claimed Centre for Cities
Automation could lead to a loss of 3.6M jobs in the UK by 2030, claimed Centre for Cities

Related tags: Job losses, Automation

Automation could threaten up to 3.6M jobs in Britain by 2030, with warehousing forecast to be one of the worst-hit sectors, according to analyst Centre for Cities.

A report issued by the firm, titled Cities Outlook 2018​, ​focused on the potential impact of automation and globalisation in driving jobs growth and job losses in British cities.

However, the risk to jobs was not evenly spread across the country, with struggling cities in the north of England and the Midlands more exposed to job losses than wealthier cities in the south.

Automation created opportunities

Centre for Cities chief executive Andrew Carter said automation offered opportunities to create high-skilled jobs, but only if training could be provided.

“That means reforming the education system to give young people the cognitive and interpersonal skills they need to thrive in the future, and improving school standards, especially in places where jobs are most at risk,”​ said Carter.

“We also need greater investment in lifelong learning and technical education to help adults adapt to the changing labour market, and better retraining for people who lose their jobs because of these changes.”

The top three cities most at risk of job losses resulting from automation and globalisation were Mansfield, Sunderland and Wakefield, according to Centre for Cities.

‘Key issues’

Commenting on the report, the Freight Transport Association’s head of licensing policy and compliance information James Firth said: “The Centre for Cities report identifies one of the key issues facing the logistics sector over the coming decades.

“Increasing use of automation will inevitably lead to changes in working patterns throughout the supply chain. However, we expect this to be a very gradual process and there will still be a need for human workers, albeit in different roles.”

Earlier this month, environment secretary Michael Gove told this website food and drink manufacturers should not rely on low-cost migrant workers and, instead, should focus on automated production systems.

Related topics: People & Skills, Processing equipment

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