UK workers are the most worried about their jobs - and technology's to blame

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
Technology could impact prospects, employees fear (Source: Getty)

UK workers are the most worried about their jobs as the world of work changes, new research reveals.

A third are concerned about what the future holds, more than those in any other major economy, while the nation's workers were found to be the least excited or confident - and the impact of technology is their biggest concern.

Read more: Jack Ma: Technology disruption will bring decades of pain

The report on the future workforce by PwC, which surveyed 10,000 people around the world, found 21 per cent of UK workers are concerned that developments in technology will impede their job prospects in the future. And women were found to be more concerned than men: 40 per cent versus 29 per cent.

In the US only 15 per cent were worried about the future of work, and in India and China, just five and eight per cent respectively.

The majority in the UK believe technology will improve their prospects, however, or have no impact at all.

And many workers were found to be wanting to learn new skills to adapt. Three in five said they were ready to learn a new skill or retrain completely to ensure they were employable, with over half saying it was up to themselves rather than their employer to do so.

“People are seeing the fundamental changes technology is bringing to their everyday lives and this is feeding through to concerns about the impact it will have on their jobs," said Anthony Bruce, partner at PwC's people and HR consulting practice.

Read more: Up to 30 per cent of UK jobs are at risk of being replaced by robots

"One in five UK workers are worried about the impact of automation on their job; this anxiety can kill confidence and the willingness to innovate. Responsible organisations should be having mature conversations with their workforce now to help them understand, prepare and potentially upskill for any impact technology may have on their job in the future.”

While workers are concerned about automation, the majority believe technology can never replace human thinking and more than three quarters believe human skills will always be needed.

And despite the general worry over work compared to other countries, UK workers were found to be the least concerned about automation putting jobs at risk.

Related articles