A new study by Oxford University and Deloitte predicts a distinct change in the labour market over the next two decades; with one-third of predominantly low-skilled roles vanishing as new automation and robotic technology renders them obsolete.

There is, however, a more optimistic message for skilled techies in the UK’s professional contracting community: if you are an Umbrella Company employee who can turn your hand to robotics and automation, expect to be very much in demand.

Around 10.8 million existing jobs are projected to disappear, with low-paid roles vanishing five times faster than high-paying roles. Entirely new high-skill roles will be created, however, as profitable industries take advantage of technological progress. London alone is expected to create around 300,000 net jobs within the next seven years.

Deloitte London senior partner Angus Knowles-Cutler said that a battle is underway to ensure that for every job lost a new one is created.

The report identifies the most in-demand future skills as digital know-how, entrepreneurship, problem solving, management and creativity. Developments in technology are unlikely to replace these abilities.

Mr Knowles-Cutler continued: “We need to be in the vanguard of technology and exploit our knowledge-based skills or face being left behind. We need to be educating people five to ten years away from the workplace with these skills, as well as with the basic broad-based skills of working hard and being able to work well with others.”

The future workforce is likely to experience several different careers as older roles fall into obsolescence and newer high-skill roles replace them. The more flexible the worker, the more successful their career path is likely to be.

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