Robots will take half of jobs unless we act

Irish workers face an almost 50pc chance their job will be automated in little more than a decade.

The stark warning that robots and other forms of automation may replace some workers came as the Government announced projects which will share €75m in funding as part of a bid to secure future jobs.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys pointed to a recent study which estimated that Irish workers face a 46pc probability of their jobs being automated by the 2030s.

She said: “We cannot afford to stand still”.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study, published earlier this year, compared the probability of increasing automation of jobs across 32 countries.

Jobs that were considered most at risk include food preparation, cleaning, construction and manufacturing.

Teaching professionals were deemed least at risk, along with management positions such as chief executives, and the roles of legislators like TDs. The €75m Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF) is said to be a “key element” of the Government’s Future Jobs initiative.

Ms Humphreys praised the 27 projects that have secured the first tranche of a planned €500m in funding over a decade saying they have devised “ground-breaking solutions that will help us to future-proof our economy”.

She said the DTIF is about “ensuring that Ireland can stay ahead of the game to secure the jobs of the future”.

Ms Humphreys said disruptive technologies will significantly change the way people work and live and they need to be embraced.

The minister said Ireland is lucky to have “fantastic companies that are doing amazing things in technology”.

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