Government to retrain workers that lose jobs to AI
05 August 2019
Workers who are at risk of losing their role as a result of the huge increase of AI usage in business will now receive support in retraining via a new government scheme.
According to Oxford Economics, as many as 20 million manufacturing jobs could be at risk in the next ten years.
The new scheme aims to help workers find a new career by learning new skills. The programme will begin trials in Liverpool.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "Technologies like AI and automation are transforming the way we live and work and bringing huge benefits to our economy,"
"But it also means that jobs are evolving, and some roles will soon become a thing of the past.
"The National Retraining Scheme will be pivotal in helping adults across the country, whose jobs are at risk of changing, to gain new skills and get on the path to a new, more rewarding career.
"This is a big and complex challenge, which is why we are starting small, learning as we go, and releasing each part of the scheme only when it's ready to benefit its users."
The Oxford Economics also stated that workforces that are likely to lose their jobs due to automation may struggle to find other careers as comparable, similar jobs are also likely to be replaced by AI.
The analysis firm found that every additional robot installed in lower-skilled workplaces could lead to twice as much job loss and it would in a higher-skilled workplace. This put the working population at serious risk of economic and political inequality, which is already a growing issue.
A computer expert from the University of Surrey told the BBC that it is inevitable that automatization will lead to job loss because it is much more cost efficient to manufacture goods in different countries.
"Automation is not here to put people out of work, it's here to free them up,"
"We're better off using people's brains, not their hands - things that machines can't do. That's what we should be heading towards."
TechUK, a body that represents the British technology industry said it welcome the new scheme.
It is right that the government is starting small to ensure lessons are learnt, and adaptations are made along the way, but the ambition to scale so that this becomes a truly national retraining scheme cannot be lost,"
"Whilst the focus is on job displacement, the fact is no job is likely to remain untouched by the fourth Industrial Revolution, so we will all need to learn new skills.
"This means we need to be making significant investments in lifelong learning and helping people to navigate a pathway through this change."