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Report claims robots could steal 18,000 jobs from workers in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 06:30 27 March 2017

Robts could take over 18,000 jobs in the borough report claims (photo credit: Radio Saigon)

Robts could take over 18,000 jobs in the borough report claims (photo credit: Radio Saigon)

Archant

Robots could snatch the jobs of more than 18,000 workers in Barking and Dagenham by 2030, according to figures derived from a report released today.

A study by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers showed that 30 per cent of jobs in Britain are potentially under threat from automation and artificial intelligence.

The jobs must at risk are those in the wholesale, retail trade and manufacturing industry.

The Post compared the findings against Office for National Statistics employment figures which showed the borough is disproportionately vulnerable to the robot takeover - with 36 per cent of jobs at ‘high risk’ of automation.

The borough’s wholesale and retail industry, which employs a fifth of the workforce, could be reduced by 4,400 jobs.

While jobs in the manufacturing, transport and storage and administrative service industries, employing around 14,000 residents, could shrink by around 46 per cent.

By contrast 13,000 jobs in the education and health sectors in the borough risks shrinking by only 13 per cent as these sectors are believed to contain a high proportion of tasks which cannot be automated

Jamie Banks, from Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce, called the figures ‘highly speculative’.

He added: “I think that a proportion of what they predict may happen as planned.

“But some may happen at a slower pace than they predict or not at all.”

While these figures may cause alarm, the report also predicts that technological innovation will lead to increase productive and new job creation in some sectors.

But it warned that steps must be taken to ensure the gains from automation are shared across the country and to prevent an increase in economic inequality resulting from job losses in lower-skilled sectors.

Mr Banks added: “Automation and mechanisation have always changed what people have done in Barking and Dagenham.

“But I think the workforce in Barking and Dagenham has proven itself capable of change.

“We have to accept that change is going to come and we need to adapt.”


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