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UK will lose over 8 million jobs because of AI, almost 60% jobs to be affected if policies not updated

The UK may be looking at a severe job crisis soon as more and more employers start considering artificial intelligence (AI) for their businesses.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has issued a stark warning, estimating that up to 8 million workers in the UK are vulnerable to losing their jobs due to AI if the policies governing AI and employment stay as they are under current government policies.

According to a report published by the IPPR, AI is already affecting 11 percent of tasks performed by UK employees, a figure projected to soar to nearly 60 percent if companies deepen their technology integration.

The IPPR’s findings underscore the government’s challenges, as it hopes AI will address the UK’s productivity woes.

While companies aim to enhance efficiency through AI adoption, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a substantial £800 million investment in technology and AI to bolster public-sector productivity.

Carsten Jung, senior economist at IPPR, emphasized AI’s transformative potential, describing it as a “game changer” for millions. However, Jung warned that without proactive measures from the government, employers, and unions, there is a risk of a “jobs apocalypse.”

The IPPR report emphasizes the critical role of government policy in shaping the impact of AI adoption on the labor market. After modeling various scenarios, researchers found that AI could contribute significantly to economic growth with appropriate policies without causing job losses.

Conversely, without intervention, AI adoption could result in the displacement of 8 million jobs in the UK, with no corresponding economic benefits.

A separate LinkedIn study revealed that the UK needs to catch up to other countries’ AI skills, highlighting the urgent need for upskilling initiatives.

Janine Chamberlin, LinkedIn’s UK country manager, stressed the importance of investing in skills development to bridge the gap between existing skills and those required in the age of AI.

The IPPR recommends developing an industrial AI strategy to facilitate job transitions and ensure the equitable distribution of automation benefits across the economy. Suggestions include fiscal incentives, regulatory changes, and support for green jobs less susceptible to automation.

As AI reshapes the workforce landscape, proactive measures at both organizational and governmental levels are essential to mitigate the potential negative impacts and harness the benefits of AI-driven innovation.

Part-time, entry-level, and back-office roles such as customer service are particularly at risk, although higher-paying positions will also increasingly feel the impact.

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