London companies gear up to take advantage of technology

Chris Papadopoullos
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LONDON firms are planning to take on more workers over the next five years in order to exploit advances in technology.

Three quarters of London businesses plan to increase their headcount over the next five years, with half saying they will add at least 10 per cent to current staff numbers, according to research commissioned by Deloitte.

Employees will have to update their skills over the next 10 years, say 84 per cent of London firms.

Digital know-how, management and creativity were cited as skills for which demand is likely to rise, whereas the demand for skills such as foreign languages, and support and clerical work is likely to decline.

The hiring plans show a shift in the kind of skills UK employers are demanding, with research by Oxford University academics showing that 35 per cent of jobs nationally are at a high risk of becoming automated over the next two decades.

Jobs most at risk of being taken over by robots are office and administrative support, sales and services, transportation, construction and production.

Low-risk jobs are those in financial services, computing, law, arts and media.

“Technological advances are likely to cause a major shift in the UK labour market in the coming decades, creating both challenges and opportunities,” said Angus Knowles-Cutler, senior partner at Deloitte.