The increased introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the UK workplace will actually create, not destroy, jobs – according to a new report by The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).
The survey of 1,000 manufacturing professionals has revealed that 63.3% have never witnessed an employee lose his/her job as a result of automation, with 36.7% saying such a process actually created jobs.
These figures come in stark contrast to findings released two weeks ago, when it was reported that 30% of the UK workforce were at risk of being made redundant due to increased AI.
Indeed, respondents appeared to have shrugged off such fears – with 72.6% believing society is being scare-mongered into thinking robotics and automation are a negative progression.
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In a bid to change such a mindset, 78.9% of those surveyed believe more should be done to promote the benefits of automation in the workforce – with 45.8% believing their business fails to communicate a positive message on the matter.
Unsurprisingly therefore, 52% admit that there is resistance from employees when implementing new automated processes.
Steve Barraclough, CEO of the CIEHF, said:
“Robots and automation are regularly given a bad name. However, whilst automation might remove some mundane and repetitive jobs, it also makes a significant contribution to ‘upskilling’ employees, which is often overlooked.
“Automation requires programmers and maintainers in areas where they may not have been previously necessary. This presents a real opportunity to businesses and manufacturers that are embracing change. It’s essential to keep people at the heart of new technology and to ‘on-board’ staff at the earliest opportunity. Human factors plays a significant role in the on-boarding process and is essential to ensuring employees are not resistant to change.”