Robotic revolution: are you ready?

The robotic revolution is set to cause the biggest transformation in the world’s workforce since the industrial revolution. Alexandra Berger highlights those sectors most at risk.

Research suggests that more than 30% of jobs in Britain are under threat from breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. 

In the workplace, technology has seen an increasing number of processes become automated, which has improved the speed, accuracy and efficiency of tasks, and in some cases has resulted in jobs being removed altogether. 

Every industry is guaranteed to be affected, to some extent, by the rise of technology at work during the next 15 years. The industry most at risk is catering, with over half (54%) of its jobs predicted to be taken over by robots. Of all sectors analysed, the catering industry also has the most workers, meaning that its impact will be far-reaching. With nearly 4.5 million people working in the catering sector, a whopping 2.4 million jobs are at risk from the advancements of technology and the rising presence of robots in the workplace. For recruiters it will be important to spot the gradual changes that are taking place in this industry, especially to help support and provide alternative roles that will begin to emerge.

The manufacturing and arts, entertainment and recreation industries are next in the firing line when it comes to jobs that are at risk of being lost to technology – with 45% under threat. With both sectors holding roughly 2.5 million workers, these industries will be impacted similarly in terms of the number of jobs that could potentially be lost.

Interestingly, education is the sector least at risk with just 9% of jobs under threat of being lost to the rise of technology. These figures suggest the importance for human interaction in teaching, and how despite predictions that classrooms would be seeing the use of virtual reality techniques and hologram teachers, it appears that more developments need to be made to reach this.

Whilst the rise of technology taking over human jobs can be a point of concern for many working in the most vulnerable industries, it is also an exciting prospect for employees, as the changes will undoubtedly see the birth of new jobs that have never existed before, which will begin appearing on recruitment sites. For recruiters, it offers the same exciting opportunity, to be advertising and offering roles that are the first of their kind. 

With more than 7 million jobs across all industries under threat of being taken over by robots, the recruitment sector is set to see huge changes, as new jobs emerge across all sectors that will need to be advertised. It is also likely that technology will impact the recruitment industry itself.

How will you be working in the future, and could you find yourself working alongside a robot?

• Alexandra Berger is senior vice president, marketing & communications, EMEA, at RS Components


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