Robots could replace a million business services jobs - Deloitte

By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

18 July 2016

Over a quarter of UK business services sector jobs are at ‘high risk of automation’, according to a new report by Deloitte.

According to analysis published by the Big Four firm, of the 3.3 million jobs currently classed as business services in the UK, 800,000 to one million of them have a high chance of being fully automated within the next 20 years.

Deloitte says that the move towards swapping humans in favour of increasingly sophisticated automated systems is due in part to “the recent introduction of the National Living wage” and the “falling cost of technology”.

Simon Barnes, financial transformation partner at Deloitte, said: “We expect the pace of automation to increase exponentially over the next few decades. 

"Business services companies need to consider the full potential of intelligent automation, both as a way of improving operational efficiency and quality standards, and in order to innovate to remain competitive.”

The theory that machines will soon take over jobs that have traditionally been considered only fit to be fulfilled by humans was recently discussed by author and Oxford lecturer Daniel Susskind.

Daniel spoke to CA Today about he and his father’s prediction that professionals will soon be replaced by “increasingly capable systems and machines”.

He said that in the future “we’ll find new and better ways of solving problems which traditionally only professionals would solve. This will lead to the dismantling of those traditional professions".  

Although these automations may be some way off from being implemented, Simon says that “the business services sector must move fast to make sure they recruit and retain people with the right skills and knowledge to address this.”

Source: Deloitte


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