Over 100,000 currently advertised positions are at very high risk of being obsolete by 2035, according to new data released by jobs search engine Adzuna. Drivers, receptionists and accountants saw the highest number of advertised roles at risk of robots taking over, as driverless cars and automated software for key tasks becomes a reality.
Adzuna’s analysis of almost 1.2 million job vacancies across the UK in December 2016 finds that around 8.71 per cent of current vacancies are still for roles that were judged by an Oxford University Study to be very likely to be automated within 20 years.
The highest number of at-risk roles were for drivers, with 29,137 positions deemed to be vulnerable, perhaps highlighting the reality behind concerns around the advent of driverless cars. Receptionists, accountants, labourers and waiters round out the top five highest volume risk areas, as software developments change the shape of employer needs in these areas.
Where are all the robots?
Of 56 major UK towns and cities, Rochdale was revealed to have the highest proportion of advertised vacancies at risk of automation, with 13.6 per cent of jobs failing to be fully future-proof. The northern city replaces Exeter, which topped the table last year. Chichester followed in second place, with 13.0 per cent of vacancies prone to computerisation. The proportion of at-risk jobs in Chichester more than doubled in 2016.
Meanwhile jobseekers in Brighton, Cardiff and London are most likely to come across a future-proof job ad, with the lowest proportion of vacancies being for roles at high risk of automation.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna comments, ‘The shape of the job landscape 20 years from now will look very different from what we see today. Savvy jobseekers and employees alike will already have one eye on the horizon and be keen to understand which roles and skills will be future-proof and which will fall easy prey to automation.
‘Adzuna analysis shows that warehousing, manufacturing and construction jobs all have components that could easily be automated, and although this doesn’t mean jobs in these sectors will no longer exist, it does mean they look set to change radically. Employees in these sectors should keep a close eye on their skillsets.’
On a regional level, the East Midlands (9.9 per cent) is likely to be the first destination for robots, with almost 10 per cent of roles at risk of automation. Those looking for future-proof career paths should look instead towards London, the North East, and Wales, where the lowest proportion of advertised roles are likely to become automated.
Sectors at risk
Roles in the logistics and warehousing sectors are by far the least future-proof, with nearly half (43.37 per cent) of all available roles falling into the at-risk category. Administration, manufacturing and construction jobs all feature in the top five sectors that may be vulnerable to automation.
Teaching, social work, IT and nursing, however, prove likely to be the most future-proof career choices, with less that 2 per cent of roles prone to automation in the next 20 years.
Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, adds, ‘In much the same way as the development of computers failed replace all jobs, but certainly changed the face of the workforce, we are likely to see a similar effect with automation.
‘Future-proof careers tend to be those with fewer easy-to-automate tasks, and these that involve high levels of empathy or human interaction, or those involved in the technology itself. Perhaps Robot Programmer will be the most common job being recruited for in 30 years time?’