My thoughts on the rise of automation

A recent report highlighted Alyn and Deeside as being in the top five of constituencies most likely to be hit the hardest by the rise of automation. It announced that 36.8% of jobs in our constituency will be at risk by 2030.

It comes as no surprise that the constituencies that were declared most at risk are in the West Midlands and in the North of England where jobs in transport, manufacturing, and warehousing are often concentrated.

Our area is all too familiar with mass job losses from industrial decline and if history is going to teach us anything then it is that we must prepare better.

The Tory Governments who shut down steel works and mines across the country would say that these job losses were inevitable. Despite the ‘inevitability’, transitional arrangements into new jobs and different industries were not put in place. And if these figures prove to be correct, the 2030 deadline means we do not have long to make the appropriate transitional arrangements.

There are mixed reports of what this will mean for our area, and other similar areas. This does not mean that 36.8% of people will become unemployed.

A lot of people argue that the rise of automation could replace low skilled jobs with new types of jobs. It is therefore essential that adaptations are made, especially in terms of skills, education, and training.

Alyn and Deeside’s economy is on the up and the area it is vastly becoming a centre for advanced manufacturing skills in aerospace, automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals and steel. The rise of automation does not mean the area will begin to regress. With an appropriate action plan, Alyn and Deeside will continue to progress and top quality jobs will continue to come to the area.

The fact of the matter is, there are going to be huge changes to industries across the country. It is now essential that both parties work towards a strategy that maximises the potential of automation whilst at the same time limits the risk of job losses.