UK workers remain indifferent to technology putting jobs at risk

UK workers remain indifferent to technology putting jobs at risk

New research shows UK workers remain apathetic toward learning new skills, despite automation and technologies representing a risk for their job security.

UK workers remain indifferent to technology putting jobs at risk

UK workers remain uninterested in learning new skills despite technology and automation putting jobs at risk, according to a research led by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which was backed by the Association of International Certified Professionals Accountants (AICPA).

The report, entitled ‘Mind the Skills Gap,’ found that 37% of British workers believe they don’t feel the need to learn new skills. Nearly half of workers (49%) also said they believe any portion of their role could be automated in the future, up from 38% in 2018.

The findings highlighted a growing understanding of the need to incorporate technology, with 26% of workers saying they believe working seamlessly with new technologies will encompass one of the most important skills.

Yet, the research showed a decrease in the number of workers wanting to learn digital skills, falling from 27% in 2018 to 23% in 2019. Soft skills such as critical thinking, communications and problem-solving were amongst the main interest of workers, with 23% wanting to learn these in 2018 and 29% this year.

In addition, more than half (55%) of SME decision-makers said sections of their operations were less likely to be affected in the next five years, a decrease from 62% in 2018.

Andrew Harding FCMA CGMA, Chief Executive Management Accounting, commented: “This is the second year we’ve run this research and it continues to show there’s an apathy towards learning new skills and, more worryingly, a lack of desire to learn digital skills. The UK’s goal to be a leading digital economy cannot be met if the capabilities of its workforce aren’t up to scratch.

“Attitudes to learning and reskilling need to change — employees, employers and policy-makers need to embrace the philosophy of learning, unlearning and relearning to support growth. A positive approach here will have a positive impact on UK productivity and economic growth.”

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