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Automation threatens 1.2 million Scottish jobs


By Gillian West, Social media manager

May 7, 2017 | 3 min read

Nearly half of Scottish jobs are at “high risk” of automation in just over 10 years, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland has revealed.


Scottish jobs at risk of automation

The report revealed that by 2030 adults would be “more likely to be working longer, and will often have multiple jobs” as around 1.2 million jobs will be carried out by machines.

Calling for skills qualifications to be reviewed, IPPR Scotland said changes were needed in order for workers to get more training and career support when they are mid-way through their working life, suggesting that an Open Institute of Technology could support this and bring about “improved rates of career progression, pay and productivity, starting in low-skill sectors.”

The think tank also recommends establishing a new unit to tackle the “progression gap” which holds back low-skilled workers.

“Scotland urgently needs to design a skills system better able to work with people already into their careers to help them retrain, re-skill and respond to world of work 2030,” commented IPPR Scotland director, Russell Gunson.

According to the report, by 2030 nearly 80% (2.5m) of adults in Scotland will be of working age but 46% (1.2m) of jobs are at high risk of automation.

“To respond to the huge changes facing Scotland around demographic, technological and climate change - and of course Brexit - we’re going to have to focus on retrofitting the current workforce to provide them with the skills they need, to deliver the inclusive economic growth we wish to see,” said Gunson, warning without skills reform changes to the economy could harm whole sections of the population and communities, leaving many behind.

Earlier this week, The Drum and Sysomos launched a survey to investigate the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on marketing.

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