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Impact of further automation on jobs is uneven throughout the UK - 'Higher or Lower' activity

Jonny Clark

1st February 2018

A report released by think tank 'Centre for Cities' has suggested that the impact of job losses from continued automation in the UK economy will not be felt equally around the country. The report suggests that those towns or cities which have a lower proportion of highly-skilled jobs are more at risk from job losses as the growth in the use of robotics and AI continues. The report also draws an interesting link between this threat and the proportion of people within the 'at-risk' towns who voted for withdrawal from the EU during the 2016 referendum.

Being aware of this disparity gives policy makers the opportunity to plan long-term to ensure that the impact of automation is more evenly spread or counteracted.

The activity below uses our 'Higher or Lower' template to create a short discussion activity in class. Using a database of 20 cities or towns (plus the GB average) players are asked to say whether the proportion of jobs that could be lost to automation within one town or city is higher or lower than another (figures stated as a % of jobs lost by 2030). Each town or city is drawn randomly and, in each game, five are used as a comparison. It may be an interesting test of student knowledge of the economic infrastructure of towns/cities throughout the UK.

Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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