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Why workers should be worried about robots

ROBOTS RULE: A new study shows humans fear automation will take their jobs.
ROBOTS RULE: A new study shows humans fear automation will take their jobs.

DO you fear your job could be done by a robot?

You're not alone.

Airtasker released their latest Future of Work study yesterday, which revealed up to 3.8 million Australian's believe their current job will be handed over to a robot in the next five years.

A study by research firm Pureprofile, polled 1,003 Australians and found 71 percent of the population believe an increase in robot workers will replace more jobs than they create.

Australians aged 25 to 24 are the most concerned their job will be made obsolete by automation within the next five years.

However the same age group is also the most hopeful that machines will create new industries and more jobs than they replace.

In contrast to this belief, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 2006 to 2016 show total jobs continu to grow despite the rise of various efficiency driving technologies.

Airtasker CEO Tim Fung says this study is the first of its kind to show just how great the fear of being replaced is.

"There seems to be some fear in Australia around machines replacing jobs, and this is the first study which quantifies it," Mr Fung says.

"There's no doubt that digital disruption is displacing some jobs, but Airtasker's experience is that technology is absolutely creating new industries and jobs that we haven't seen before.

"We should also be doing more to measure the new types of jobs being created as technology fundamentally changes the way we work."

The study also revealed around 40 percent of Australians see human interaction as the main factor to prevent more roles being automated.

Meanwhile, CQU Economics Professor, John Rolfe points towards mining companies, and other companies, moving towards increased automation.

"So, in the future, mine workers are going to need higher levels of technical skills than what they've had in the past," he says.

Prof Rolfe says that means an increased role for universities and TAFEs to provide the courses that will upskill those workers.

"It is important they can provide that for those roles in the regions," he said.

Topics:  airtasker automation cquniversity data employment robot


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