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Think Tank warns that 1.2 million Scottish jobs at risk due to automation.

BY Donald MacKinnon
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

The Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland has said that around 1.2 million jobs, or around 46% of the work force are at ‘high risk’ due to automation by 2030. This means that the number of workers that will have to change careers and reskill is going to greatly increase. IPPR Scotland say that changes need to be made to how people get trained and supported midway through their working life.

They want to see an Open Institute of Technology to help in achieving this, that would aim to improve the rate of career progression, pay and productivity particularly with the low skilled whose jobs are most at risk.

When making recommendations to improve skills in Scotland they said;

“The world of work in 2030 will be very different to that in 2017. People are more likely to be working longer and will often have multiple jobs, with multiple employers and in multiple careers. Over 2.5 million adults in Scotland (nearly 80%) will still be of working age by 2030. At the same time,  over 46% of jobs in Scotland are at high risk of automation. We will therefore need a skills system ready to work with people throughout their careers.

 The IPPR Scotland recommendations follow on from the Association of Accounting Technicians who produced a report in 2015 that looked at adult reskilling and potential benefits that could arise. By January 2015 94,000 unemployed people in the UK were aged between 55-64, of which, 37,500 had been out of work for more than a year. Those in this age bracket are 9% more likely to be out of work long term. The reasons for this are, for example, they are less likely to be highly qualified and only have basic qualifications. Many men in this category have come from a background in mining, agriculture and manufacturing, all of which has decreased, and women have seen the loss of public sector and clerical jobs. They claim that £105m in unemployment benefit could be saved over the next few years if these people were reskilled.

The Scottish Government stated that they believe that the Scottish economy is fundamentally strong and will be able to overcome the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities provided by the pace of technological change.

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