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October 26, 2016

Automation to affect 16% of UK public sector jobs by 2030

It shows 77% chance for desk-based administrative jobs being automated.

By Hannah Williams

A research conducted by business advisory firm Deloitte has estimated that nearly 861,000 UK public sector jobs could be affected by automation by 2030.

The jobs, which could be automated, account for 16% of the overall workforce in the country.

A previous study from Deloitte revealed that all sectors of the UK economy will be affected by automation in the next two decades.

Automation is expected to impact 74% of jobs in transportation, 59% of jobs in wholesale and retail and 56% of jobs in manufacturing.

Deloitte global head of public sector Mike Turley said: “Across all sectors of the economy, technological advances mean that repetitive and predictable tasks are increasingly undertaken by robots – either in the form of software or devices. The public sector is no different.”

The study showed that roles in areas such as education and caring, as well as jobs requiring public interaction are at lower risk of automation.

Deloitte estimates a reduction of about £17bnin public sector wage costs by 2030, as a result of automation.

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The firm said that there is 77% probability in desk-based administrative jobs and jobs requiring physical skills being automated.

It sees 23% chance for automation of interactive roles requiring a high degree of personal interaction, including jobs such as teachers, social workers and police officers.

Turley said: “The public sector has a high number of public-facing roles, particularly those in areas such as education and caring. These will be relatively safe from automation and could see the public sector impacted less than other sectors.

automationThe study estimates 14% chance for automation of cognitive roles that mostly require strategic thinking and complex reasoning, including finance directors and chief executives.

Deloitte projects the number of local government administrative roles to fall to 4,000 in the country by 2030.

While the number of care workers and home carers is forecast to decline to 151,000 by 2030, the number of health care practice managers is projected to fall to 2,000.

Turley added:“We are already seeing examples of technology playing a role in the public sector. Robotic processes are supporting local government in their data entry, driverless trains are becoming more widespread and sensor technology is being used in hospitals and care homes to monitors patients and give nurses and carers more time for quality patient interaction.”

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