Deloitte claims a quarter of workers will be replaced by robots

Accountancy company Deloitte has produced a new report indicating that more than 25 per cent of jobs in the UK’s business services sector face being taken over by robots within 20 years.

In the next two decades, around 800,000 to one million jobs from this sector are expected to be lost to automation – being classed as “high risk” – thanks to a rising cost of labour, and the cost of technology dropping.

There are 3.3 million jobs in the business services sector, with 45 per cent being classed as being at “low risk” of automation in the report. The remaining jobs in the sector have a “medium risk” of being performed by robots instead of humans.

While these numbers may seem high, it remains lower than many other sectors. By 2035, on average 36 per cent of all jobs across the country are predicted to be automated.

Simon Barnes, a partner of Deloitte, said: “The business services workforce in the UK will fundamentally change over the next 10 to 20 years. Repetitive and highly structured job roles are likely to be reduced, while new, higher-skilled roles will be created.

“As automation becomes increasingly more cognitive and less robotic, the business services sector must move fast to make sure they recruit and retrain people with the right skills and knowledge to address this.”