Rise of the robots: 600,000 construction jobs could be lost to automation by 2040


More than half a million jobs in the construction industry could be lost as a result of the rise of robots.

The so-called fourth industrial bringing with it technology such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, which could replace jobs done by humans, City AM reports.

Consultancy and construction firm Mace has crunched the numbers and projects the effect on the industry of 600,000 jobs at risk of being replaced over the the next two decades.

The firms warns that the workforce must be re-skilled to adapt to new technology to embrace the productivity gains it brings. And it estimates doing so would add an extra £25bn to the UK economy by 2040 as well as having a knock-on effect on infrastructure projects and the housing shortage.

“Everyone now acknowledges the current skills shortages need to be addressed,” said Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds.

“The industry, our training bodies and government need to work together to take full advantage of everything that industry 4.0 can offer.”

Separate estimates suggest four in five jobs could “vanish” due to technology in the retail industry, while further research indicates that 30 per cent of all jobs across the UK could be replaced by 2030.

While some industries are more susceptible to job losses from automation, many economists believe new and some as-yet unknown jobs will spring up in their place.