As the world reels in response to the effects of populist politics in the US (and last year’s Brexit vote in the UK), business leaders at least know where to lay the blame for rising unemployment levels over the past decade – man made machines not overseas workers.
While employers cannot rewrite political history, they can and should be planning very carefully for the effects of the increased use of technology on their businesses, be it artificial intelligence, driverless cars and trains, automation or robotics. Some industries are more prepared than others such as the manufacturing and banking and financial services sectors. Others, such as the insurance industry, have never experienced mass redundancies, workforce retraining and reskilling, risk management and data security issues involved with the increased use of technology and have a long way to go before they are even close to ready for the post–bot world.
Helga Breen, Partner and Head of London Employment