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By 2030 Robots May Take Jobs Of 250,000 Workers In UK

By Victor Thomson , Feb 07, 2017 04:49 AM EST
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According to market analysts, in the U.K. around 250,000 public sector jobs could be lost to robots by the year 2030. (Photo : CNET / YouTube)

According to a new report released by the think tank Reform, over the next 15 years in the United Kingdom robots could replace as much as 250,000 public sector workers.

Robots To Replace UK Public Sector Workers

According to The Stack, the Reform group suggests that the workers in the public sector should be prepared for the rise of automation and the "gig" economy, as the sector could become the "next Uber." In the future, the think tank suggests, U.K. workers will have to support themselves through a variety of flexible jobs that could be found on online platforms.

The think tank's report argues that robots will save the public service sector billions of pounds by increasing efficiency. It suggests, for instance, that artificial intelligence (AI) solutions will replace as many as 90 percent of administrator roles by managing day-to-day operations on websites. By the year 2030, the report also sees automation replacing tens of thousands of jobs in the GP surgeries and in NHS, saving up to £4 billion annually.

Reform also predicts that even nurses and doctors will have to face the robotic competition. In fact, the think tank argues that robots could even outperform humans at collecting patient information, performing routine procedures and diagnosing some conditions. The report advises the public sector employees to embrace a new Uber-style "gig" economy, where even highly qualified workers such as supply teachers and doctors will be employed on a locum basis.

Advanced Technology To Improve Public Services

The think tank further recommends that public services should employ advanced technology in order to improve the efficiency and quality of front-line and strategic roles and become "diamond-shaped." The report states that around twenty percent of public-sector workers holds "cognitive," strategic roles. They will use data analytics in order to allocate workers more efficiently, improve decision making and better identify patterns.

Contingent-labour platforms could suit schools and hospital settings as replacements for traditional agency frameworks, according to the report. In case of the NHS, for instance, the report recommends reducing unnecessary hospital admissions by focusing only on the highest-risk patients. Emergency services including the U.K. police are already using data in order to forecast areas of greatest risk from fire to burglary.

Reform adds that, in order to mirror private sector culture, there is necessary an organizational shift. Shared feedback boards and kitchens, for instance, can enable spontaneous interactions supporting a new culture of public service innovation. While some of these recommendations could have a beneficial role for the public sector employees in the U.K., unfortunately, these changes could precede unemployment.

According to Hot Hardware, the new report by Reform is focusing on improving public performance within affordable budgets by pushing to replace nearly 250,000 public sector workers with robots by 2030. While the concept of automated services and robotic workers is not new, the report prepared by Reform is pretty harsh on the downsides of human workers.

The think tank argues that the best way to improve workforce productivity is by making better use of technology. Alexander Hitchcock, the report's co-author, commented on the paper that even if such a way of using advanced technology may seem controversial, the result would be public services that are smarter, safer, better and more affordable.

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