Is my job going to be computerised? (UK edition)

A little while ago I highlighted some research by Carl Frey and Michael Osborne looking at the computerisation of jobs which was applied to the US jobs market.

In a recent report this research has been applied to the UK jobs market.

In summary it states:

Technology, automation and robotics will cause a significant shift in the UK labour market in the next twenty years, with one-third (35%) of existing jobs at risk of being replaced according to research carried out by Deloitte with Carl Benedikt Frey, of the Oxford Martin School, and Michael A Osborne, of the Department of Engineering Science, at the University of Oxford.

Advances in technology will likely see jobs requiring repetitive processing, clerical and support services, replaced with roles requiring digital, management and creative skills. These trends are already well under way.

Frey and Osborne conducted a similar study in 2013 on automation in the US job market. The latest research finds that:

  • 35% of existing jobs in the UK, decreasing to 30% in London, are at high risk from automation over the next two decades.
  • However, 40% of UK jobs are at low or no risk. In London, 51% of jobs are at low or no risk.
  • “High risk” jobs are in office and administrative support; sales and services; transportation; construction and extraction; and production.
  • “Low or no risk” jobs are in skilled management; financial services; computing, engineering and science; education; legal services; community services; the arts and media; and healthcare.
  • Across the UK, jobs paying less than £30,000 a year are nearly five times more likely to be replaced by automation than jobs paying over £100,000. In London, lower paid jobs are eight times more likely to be replaced.

To put it another way, at the last count, there were 30.76 million people in work in the UK, so a 35% impact would see over 10.8 million people looking for new employment.

Those are alarming numbers, but there is evidence that organisations are already preparing. The report focusses on London as the driver of change in the UK and includes the results of a survey of 100 London based business.

The key finding is that we are transitioning from one set of skills to another set. This is a change that has been happening for some time, as the following two tables from the report highlight:


(Speaking as an IT person it’s interesting to see Zumba Instructor above Big Data Architect 🙂 )

The full report is available

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