ROBOTS could help create more jobs for humans and increase employment levels, according to a professional working in the field of robotics.
Contrary to reports saying jobs are at risk of computerisation, Philip Graves of GWS Robotics in Queen Charlotte Street, Bristol, believes it could in fact lead to new opportunities.
Philip, who has been computer programming since the 1980s and studied economics in Sweden, said: “There is something of a panic about the risk of human jobs being taken by robots in the future.
“But history shows us that when advances in technology take away jobs in some areas, it creates opportunities elsewhere.
“Robots will always be most useful doing the most boring, repetitive, mechanical and dangerous jobs. This should be of real human benefit – freeing employees from unpleasant working conditions.
“The workers will probably go on to find nicer employment elsewhere. Robots will need development, programming, servicing and monitoring, all which have to be done by people.”
A study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte said about 35 per cent of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years – with retail and transport sectors most vulnerable.
But a more recent study by the accountancy firm has painted a more positive picture.
It found that while technology has potentially contributed to the loss of over 800,000 lower-skilled jobs, there was evidence it had helped create nearly 3.5 million higher-skilled ones.
It reported each of the new jobs paid, on average, around £10,000 more per annum than the one lost.
Philip, a digital copywriter and marketer with GWS Robotics and its sister design and digital marketing company GWS Media, added: “Automated technology has been under continual development since the dawn of the industrial revolution in the 19th century.
“But when jobs are lost to machinery they are often replaced with new ones in other sectors, mainly the service economy.”
Where the Luddites once feared weaving machines, today cashiers may be worried about their jobs with the introduction of self-service check-outs.
But a study of census results in England and Wales has found technology has created more jobs than it destroyed –albeit in different sectors.
In 1841, 36 per cent of jobs were in manufacturing, 22 per cent in agriculture and fishing and 33 per cent in services.
By 2011, only nine per cent of jobs were in manufacturing, one per cent in agriculture – but a whopping 81 per cent in services.
But Philip warns there could be job cuts in the short term and advises businesses to keep up with developing technology.
The father-of-one who lives in Upper Knowle said: “It’s important that social policy supports individuals and communities affected by employment loss and invests in retraining schemes and economic regeneration programmes.
“But the labour economy will rebalance itself in the medium-to-long run.”