Report reveals workers fear losing jobs to automation
WORKERS are more concerned over losing their jobs to machines than they are about immigration, according a report released yesterday.
Other major concerns included the outsourcing of work and the impact of Brexit on employment, research carried out by jobs website Indeed found.
A third of the 1,600 people surveyed said that immigration had a positive impact on their job.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said the union would campaign to ensure that people are not “pushed out of jobs and onto the scrapheap” as a result of developing technology.
And he warned against Theresa May’s plan for a so-called “hard Brexit” which he claimed would increase costs and threaten jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
Indeed spokesman Mariano Mamertino said: “Workers have identified the threat of automation, even if politicians have largely ignored it.
“In the run-up to the election we have seen campaigns focused on issues such as Brexit, immigration and tax.
“However, these results show that the average worker is much more unnerved by the prospect of being replaced by a machine and companies moving jobs abroad, rather than competition from immigration.”
The Bank of England has previously warned that up to 15 million jobs could be lost in Britain as robots take over work that had previously been done by humans, widening the gap between rich and poor.
A 2015 study suggested that administrative, clerical, production and service jobs were most at risk.
Mr Burke told the Star: “Automation is certainly having an impact in the service industry where we are seeing a lot more automation and less from human beings.
“In manufacturing Unite research shows the impact of robot technology on repetitive work with good terms and conditions.
“Companies such as BMW are increasingly using robots and we are seeing the use of co-bots, where a human works alongside a robot.
“The Bank of England predicted the loss of 15 million jobs but there is no one-sizefits-all answer.
“But the technology cannot be uninvented and Unite will lobby and campaign to ensure that there is retraining, the development of new skills and that people aren’t pushed out of jobs onto the scrapheap.”