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Could Higher Minimum Wage Lead To Greater Automation?

There are few who would argue that a higher minimum wage in the UK is a bad thing, with both the minimum wage (for those aged 21 to 24) and the national living wage (for those 25 and over) set to increase every year until 2020, when the national living wage will be over £8.50 an hour.

However, a report published recently by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggested that, at some point, a higher minimum wage will mean that the prospect of automating jobs becomes more appealing to businesses than employing people to do this work.

According to the IFS, we don’t yet know at what point this will occur, while the organisation noted that the type of technology available will also impact what roles are likely to be automated in the future.

If you’re worried about automation in your field, one way to protect yourself in the future is to start the process of upskilling now. Even if your role doesn’t get automated, going on the likes of mechanical training courses could well help you boost your income or get a better job in the future.

Speaking to the Web Financial Group, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors Steve Barraclough said that it’s “inevitable” that both our workplaces and homes will feature a growing level of automation in the future.

However, he sees this as positive, because it will “result in the upskilling of many staff as robots are used for the more repetitive tasks”, he asserted.

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