THE UK ECONOMY could suffer from a lack of robots.
That's the warning from MPs from the business, energy, and industrial strategy (BEIS), who claim that the government isn't doing enough to keep the self-ostracising country competitive in the sphere.
The MPs warned that despite the possibility of job losses brought on by automation, failure to keep up with the rest of the G7 could lead to us lagging behind economically.
The warning comes as BEIS releases its latest report 'Automation and the future of work.' The comments, published in the Guardian, point to a 2015 estimate that 10 robots work in Britain per million person-hours (0.6 per cent of the field), against 131 in the US, 133 in Germany and 167 in Hapan.
Rachel Reeves, who chairs the committee, said: "If we are to reap the potential benefits in the future of improved living standards, more fulfilling work, and the four-day working week, the government needs to do more to support British businesses and universities to collaborate and innovate."
It criticises the governments' failure to support businesses wanting to be a part of Industrie 4.0 (aka 'the fourth industrial revolution' in post-Brexit newspeak) haven't had the level of support they need from government to make it happen, citing, in particular, the culling of the Manufacturing Advisory Service back in 2015, which it said was pivotal in supporting companies through the change.
It also adds that not enough is being done on the research and development side to make us a playa on the build side, as well as the consumption side.
Although we're subject to a certain amount of "Det Tuk Err Jawbs" going on, it's worth remembering that jobs lost to automation will almost certainly lead to a surge in jobs elsewhere - operators, maintenance, tech support - even some jobs that don't exist yet, all of which will cushion the blow that comes not just with this Industrial Revolution but with all that have gone before. µ
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