Automation is changing the landscape of work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As economies look to recover, millions of workers across Europe will need to retrain in order to transition into new roles. Focusing on occupations at a lower risk of automation will be a better investment for individuals and economies more widely.
To date, most automation research has focused on identifying which occupations are most at risk of automation. This report goes one step further, by providing guidance on how workers (in the UK, France and Italy) can transition out of these occupations and into lower-risk roles. This guidance is made possible by an algorithm that estimates the similarity between over 1,600 jobs, based on the skills and work experiences required in each role.
The key finding from our research is that automation risk can be hard to escape. This is because occupations that are at high risk of automation tend to require similar skills (these occupations sit close to each other on the map). As a consequence, at-risk workers, who predominantly reside in sales, customer service and clerical roles, will require more retraining to find an occupation that is at a lower risk.