A Think tank Reform report has revealed that 248,860 public sector jobs could be taken over by AI (artificial intelligence) and automated systems over the next 15 years.
According to Think tank Reform, administrator jobs within the UK’s civil service and public sector may be automated to improve efficiency. The report is based on interviews, data, previous research and Freedom of Information requests, and estimates the changes could save the UK £4bn per year through the reduction of the public sector’s wage bill.
Think tank Reform claims the headcount of the government, police and NHS could be significantly reduced and 24,000 roles in frontline healthcare could be replaced. A Reform representative even stated that “public services could become the next Uber” with the gig economy encouraging further employment of locum doctors and supply teachers.
The report stresses that workforces within public services have been designed to be too hierarchical and “unresponsive to user needs” hence it would be beneficial to replace humans with online processes to complete tasks. One example cited by the report wherein we have already seen this shift is the HMRC which has reduced its admin staff from 96,000 to 60,000 over the last ten years.