Fears for 10.8m UK jobs as computers and robots expand their roles

A new technological revolution could put paid to more than one in three jobs in the UK over the next 20 years according to new research, with low paid workers particularly vulnerable to fresh advances in robotics and computing.

Accountancy firm Deloitte and the University of Oxford calculated that as many as 10.8m jobs could be at risk, particularly repetitive roles which lend themselves more easily to automation, encouraging employers to axe staff and invest instead in machines.

Researchers believe that in a worst case scenario up to 35 per cent of workers could find themselves unemployed, with those earning less than £30k a year five times more likely to be out of luck than those earning over £100k.

Manufacturing in particular is expected to bear the brunt of automation whilst those employed in the creative economy are likely to weather the storm longer, as they will retain an edge over their silicon colleagues – for now.

Deloitte partner Angus Knowles-Cutler said: “technological advances are likely to cause a major shift in the UK labour market in the coming decades. Unless these changes are understood and anticipated, there will be a risk of avoidable unemployment and under-employment. A widening gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is also a risk as lower-skill jobs disappear.”

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