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October 16, 2017updated 03 Jan 2021 5:40pm

Young workers are at risk of automation

By Stephanie Wix

Young workers are facing increasing challenges in the rise of automation as 30% of jobs in the financial and insurance industry is expected to become automated by 2030’s, according to the PwC Young Workers Index 2017 report.

The Index compared levels of participation in employment, education and training of 16-24 year olds across 34 OECD countries, and predicted that new technologies will create jobs as well as boost productivity and wealth. A potential of USD $1.2tr could be brought to OECD economies in the long term by improving young workers’ skills, enrolment in education and job opportunities, according to the report.

The top ranked OECD countries in the Index were firstly Switzerland, followed by Iceland and then Germany in terms of range of employment, education and training indicators. The USA in particular had the highest overall automation risk (39%), followed by Germany (38%) and Italy (37%), countries with the lowest risk were Japan (24%) and Korea (26%). The findings mentioned that workers with strong science, technology, engineering, and maths skills should be less at risk but demand for these skills is rising fast, leading to a skills gap.

PwC UK chief economist John Hawksworth said: “Automation through technologies like artificial inteligence and robotics will boost productivity and wealth, and so create many new opportunities for young people with the right skills. A focus on providing young people with the right education and vocational training will be critical to preparing them for the more automated workplace of the future.”

The Index can be found here.

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