Corby is the UK town most threatened by automation, according to new research.
The study, by think-tank Localis in collaboration with Sky News, also predicted that Wellingborough and Daventry are in the top 10 places most at risk of “cliff-edge automation”, and that Northamptonshire as a whole is the county most at risk.
Automation is the system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, reducing human intervention to a minimum. In numerical terms 31.1 per cent of jobs, or 10,323 jobs, are at risk in Corby; 28.9 per cent or 10,430 jobs in Wellingborough; and 28.5 per cent or 11,360 jobs in Daventry. Reece Manly-Foster, 19, of Corby, has worked short-term jobs in factories and warehouses in the past two years.
He told Sky News: “It is bad in Corby. It really is. Because there are hardly any jobs going. “I tried to apply for a warehouse but the only job that was going was through the robots.
“But I had no idea, because I’m not trained, which means I can’t work there. “I think most factory work will be overtook by robots, which means there’s going to be less people working, which means there’s going to be people out of work.” A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers published in February predicted waves of automation. The first, in the early 2020s, will be the “algorithm wave” and will affect sectors like financial services. The second, in the late 2020s, will be similar to the previous wave but will impact on more tasks. The third, the autonomy wave, could hit in the mid-2030s and is predicted to have an impact on 30 per cent of UK jobs, with automated vehicles and machinery replacing manual tasks. Chris Mills, operations manager at Northampton’s Bounds Taxis (now owned by a software automation company) told Sky News: “The more automation we have the less need for personnel. “It’s a lot quieter. It’s very much quieter You haven’t got people shouting across the room. It can all be put on screen.”