UK demand for digital automation skills doubles as employees feel the burn out

Employment & Skills | Surveys | Technology

New research from specialist recruiter Robert Half and global labour market trends experts Burning Glass indicates that demand for digital automation skills is set to double (+99%) by the end of 2021 compared to pre-pandemic figures.

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An analysis of nearly 9,000,000 UK job postings has revealed that the number of jobs requiring automation capabilities is on course to reach around 90,000 this year, compared to 39,323 in 2019, with demand rising fastest in non-technical roles such as Management Consultants and Sales Directors.

“With a staggering 86% of high-performing employees saying they feel burnt out at work, its unsurprising that businesses are looking to automation to try and relieve some of the pressure,” said Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half UK.

“These findings show that businesses understand they need to find ways to support and supplement their workers by removing more repetitive tasks and freeing them up to focus on more value-add activity. For example, we’re seeing sales directors being tasked with improving efficiency, and turning to automation, including software that auto-fills client contact forms during phone calls or using AI to support with on-the-job training. Across the board, companies need talented people who can help them identify, design and implement automation for their teams.

“As automation becomes more widespread, roles and job functions will change significantly. This surge in demand means it’s more important than ever for businesses to invest in life-long learning. It’s estimated that 21m UK workers will need digital upskilling over the next decade and automation needs to be a core element of such educational initiatives. As such, executives should be reviewing their learning and development programmes to make sure they are able to provide the skills most urgently needed. Alongside this, all businesses – especially SMEs – need to be taking advantage of government support to help with digital upskilling such as the Chancellors recent ‘Help to Grow’ scheme that can help shoulder some of the cost of upskilling and retraining.”

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