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Are robotics going to take factory jobs from humans?

Posted
12 months ago

Are robotics going to take manufacturing jobs from humans?

Will robotics take factory jobs from humans?

There is a possibility that robotics could take some factory jobs from humans in the UK, as automation technologies become more advanced and cost-effective. However, it is important to note that the impact of automation on the job market is complex and depends on a variety of factors.

While some jobs may be replaced by robots, many jobs will be created in the field of robotics and automation. Additionally, automation can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, which can create new job opportunities in other areas of the economy.

It is also worth noting that automation is not a new phenomenon, and many industries in the UK have already undergone significant automation in recent decades. While this has led to job losses in some areas, it has also created new job opportunities in other areas.

Overall, it is difficult to predict exactly how automation will affect the job market in the UK, but it will likely have both positive and negative impacts. It is important for policymakers and industry leaders to carefully consider the potential impacts of automation and take steps to ensure that the benefits are shared fairly across society.

Has robotics already taken some jobs from humans in the UK and how many? 

Yes, robotics and automation have already taken some jobs from humans in the UK, but it is difficult to determine an exact number. The impact of automation on employment is a complex issue that depends on many factors, including the specific industry, the type of job, and the pace of technological change.

According to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2020, automation has already affected the employment landscape in the UK. The report found that between 2011 and 2017, the proportion of jobs at high risk of automation decreased from 8.1% to 7.4%, but the number of jobs at medium risk increased from 18.8% to 20.1%. This suggests that while some jobs have been replaced by automation, others are still at risk.

Specifically in the manufacturing industry, which is often associated with automation and robotics, the number of jobs has declined over the past few decades. According to ONS data, the number of manufacturing jobs in the UK has decreased from over 4 million in the 1980s to around 2.7 million in 2021. However, it is worth noting that this decline is not solely due to automation, as factors such as global competition and changing consumer preferences have also played a role.

Overall, while it is difficult to quantify the exact number of jobs that have been lost to automation in the UK, it is clear that robotics and automation have already had an impact on the job market, particularly in certain industries such as manufacturing.

When did robotics first started to be utilised in manufacturing in the UK and what impact did this have?

Robotics started to be utilized in manufacturing in the UK in the 1970s, although the use of automation technologies had been increasing since the mid-20th century. The first industrial robot was installed in a UK factory in 1968, and by the mid-1970s, there were several companies producing robots in the UK.

The impact of robotics on manufacturing in the UK has been significant. By automating many of the repetitive and dangerous tasks involved in manufacturing, robots have helped to improve productivity, reduce costs, and increase quality. They have also enabled companies to produce goods more quickly and flexibly, allowing them to respond to changing customer demands and market conditions.

However, the use of robotics in manufacturing has also hurt employment, particularly in low-skilled jobs. As machines have replaced human workers in certain tasks, many jobs have been lost, leading to concerns about unemployment and income inequality.

Despite these concerns, the use of robotics in manufacturing in the UK has continued to increase in recent years. According to the International Federation of Robotics, the number of industrial robots in use in the UK increased by 37% between 2014 and 2019. This trend is expected to continue as advances in automation technology make robots more versatile, intelligent, and affordable.

In the event that jobs were taken over by robots entirely in manufacturing what would the impact be?

If jobs are taken over by robots entirely in manufacturing, it could have several impacts:

  1. Job losses: Many manufacturing jobs would be replaced by robots, which would lead to a significant loss of employment opportunities for workers. This could lead to increased unemployment and economic instability in affected regions.

  2. Increased productivity: Robots can work faster and more efficiently than humans, which could lead to increased productivity in manufacturing. This, in turn, could lead to increased profits for companies and potentially lower prices for consumers.

  3. Changes in skill requirements: As robots become more prevalent in manufacturing, the skills required for workers will change. Workers will need to be trained in new technologies and have more advanced technical skills to operate and maintain robots.

  4. Shift in demand for education and training: There will be a greater demand for education and training in STEM fields, such as robotics, engineering, and computer science.

  5. Ethical concerns: There may be ethical concerns related to the use of robots in manufacturing, such as the impact on worker well-being, privacy, and safety.

ProTech Recruitment has been working in the manufacturing space for over 30 years. If you'd like to speak to one of our experts to get a view on finding a role or finding that perfect employee, give us a call now at 01442 299000 or email us now at ask@pro-tech.co.uk