Robots could replace up to 30 per cent of UK jobs by 2030 - but it's not all bad

Lynsey Barber
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Pizza-making robots might just replace people (Source: Getty)

As many as a third of all jobs in the UK are at risk of being lost to machines within the next 15 years, fresh research reveals.

However, it's likely that technologies related to artificial intelligence will create new jobs, according to the research from PwC, and automation will boost productivity and wealth overall, offsetting the rise of robots.

Read more: The 10 jobs where you're most (and least) likely to be replaced by a robot

The risk of job automation in the UK was found to be lower than both Germany and the US, where 35 and 38 per cent could be replaced by automation, respectively, but higher than Japan (21 per cent).

Sectors most at risk include transport, manufacturing, wholesale and retail, but those with an element of important human interaction such as health and social work are less likely to be replaced.

This makes men more susceptible to automation - estimated at 35 per cent - compared to women (26 per cent) with the propensity for women to work in health and teaching and men in transport and manufacturing.

The risk of being replaced is higher among those with a lower level of education - 46 per cent with just a GCSE level of education compared to only 12 per cent for those with at least an undergraduate degree.

Read more: The Science Museum is hosting a robots exhibition and it's creepy as hell

"There’s no doubt that AI and robotics will rebalance what jobs look like in the future, and that some are more susceptible than others," said PwC head of technology and investment Jon Andrews.

"What’s important is making sure that the potential gains from automation are shared more widely across society and no one gets left behind.

"Responsible employers need to ensure they encourage flexibility and adaptability in their people so we are all ready for the change," he said, adding that the valuable skills of the future will be creative and critical thinking and emotional intelligence.

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