Robots set to replace 250,000 public sector roles

Industry leaders react to new research from the Reform think tank which forecasts a sharp rise in the number of robots taking admin roles in the public sector

by the commentator on 6 February 2017 12:06


Almost 250,000 jobs in the UK public sector could be taken over by robots, according to new research from the Reform think tank. The recommendations are contained in a report entitled Work in progress. Towards a leaner, smarter public-sector workforce published this morning.

The report’s findings underline the wider technology trend around Artificial intelligence (AI) taking a more prominent role in the workplace, replacing manual jobs like data entry.

A key recommendation includes, “Employ technology to improve the efficiency and quality of front-line and strategic roles.”

Responding to the news,

Chas Moloney, director at Ricoh UK said, “As the government presses ahead with its paperless agenda in areas such as the NHS, public sector decision makers should concentrate on skills development and training for employees adapting to new ways of working.”

“There can be no complacency when it comes to improving the digital dexterity of the workforce and it’s vital that every effort is made to ensure workers are equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in new digital working environments,”

Neil Kinson, chief of staff at Redwood Software said, “Staff up from repetitive manual tasks to allow them to focus their efforts on more value-add, strategic activities. However”, he adds, “as long as we remain fixated on the idea that robots replace humans, or narrowly define the sets of tasks to which we can apply robotics, the true potential of robotic process automation will be overlooked”.

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