- more than 11 million British workers could be replaced by robots in the next two decades.
- workers with low incomes (less than £30,000 a year) are more likely to lose jobs than higher-earners.
- staff in retails, schools, hospitals, offices, public services will be affected.
According to Deloitte Report more than 11 million British workers could be replaced by robots in the next two decades. Deloitte believe that by 2036 a huge chunk of the UK workforce would be automated. In addition, workers with low incomes (less than £30,000 a year) are more likely to lose jobs than higher-earners. Staff in retail, schools, hospitals, offices and public services will be affected. In the last decade automation has steadily taken over roles traditionally filled by humans.
Angus Knowles-Cutler, vice chairman of Deloitte, said the march of the machines was already well underway and nothing could be done to stop it. “You either adopt the technology or your economy suffers,” he said. “It’s hard to resist these changes” (dailymail.co.uk, 2016).
Furthermore, Homecare.co.uk (2017) claims that UK Researchers are developing robots to care for older people in care homes and hospitals. This project is funded by the EU and the Japanese Government.
Researchers from Middlesex University and the University of Bedfordshire are helping create robots, as part of a project funded by the EU and the Japanese Government. The robots, manufactured by Softbank Robotics, are being built to carry such tasks as giving medication, companionship, connecting to smart appliances. Furthermore, the social robots, which will communicate through speech and gestures, will be able to detect signs an older person is feeling ill or in pain. Similar robots are already being used in people’s homes in Japan and in the country’s hospitals to lift patients.
A specialist in Transcultural Health & Nursing at Middlesex University, Professor Rena Papadopoulos stresses the researchers are starting with care homes first but believes it will be the social norm in the near future for older people to receive support from robots in their own homes” (Homecare.co.uk, 2017).
In December last year a British outsourcing company- Capita, a FTSE 100-listed firm that also runs the London congestion charge, stressed it needed to axe 2,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive in response to poor trading. The company is going to replace staff with robots as it slashes costs.
The chief executive, Andy Parker, claimed: “Robots will help to eliminate human error and make decisions faster. It won’t remove the need for an individual, however it speeds up their work. A human assisted by automated robotic technology could do a 40-minute job in much less time”.
In addition, The Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn was reported to have replaced 60,000 workers with robots earlier last year, while the former chief executive of McDonald’s suggested a similar tactic in response to low-paid workers’ demands for better pay and conditions. (theguardian.com,2016).