The Impact of Automation on job transitions and future skills needs
This talk will examine the opportunities and challenges that workers who are at risk of job displacement resulting from automation could face in transitioning into the jobs that are expected to be created by the structural changes caused by automation.
In 2021, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and PwC published a study which explored how the composition of the labour force could change as a result of automation. It found that automation could have a significant disruptive effect on the UK labour market, with around 18% of jobs having a high probability of displacement over 10 years. This current study extends this analysis by examining the opportunities and challenges that workers who are at risk of job displacement resulting from automation could face in transitioning into the jobs that are expected to be created by the structural changes caused by automation. In particular, it aims to answer the following questions: (i)Which jobs will grow and decline as a result of automation? And to what extent? (ii) What opportunities do workers at risk of job displacement, i.e. in jobs which are expected to decline, have to transition into growing and resilient jobs? (iii) How can businesses and government help at-risk workers to transition and businesses to manage skills shortages and retrain the workforce? The approach therefore expands the original 2021 publication by extending analysis by Nesta (2020) to compute “transition scores” which estimate the ease with which workers could move from one job to another. More “viable” transitions are defined as those with more similar skills, similar or lower qualification requirements and where there is greater precedent for that transition having happened. More “desirable” transitions are defined as those which are more viable, will not require workers to take a pay cut and are located in the same region.