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A quarter of UK workers do not see technology as a threat

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Seven in 10 (69%) are confident that a machine could not do their job

Almost a quarter (23%) of British workers do not think there are any threats that could render their skills obsolete, according to research from City and Guilds

The Skills Confidence Report found the British workforce is largely unthreatened by the predicted rise of automation and artificial intelligence. When asked about the impact of automation on their job prospects over the next decade only 18% said it would have a negative effect, and 42% said it would have no impact.

Only 20% said artificial intelligence would have a negative impact on their job prospects, and 48% said it would have no impact at all. Additionally, 69% are currently confident that a machine could not do their job.

Chris Littlewood, head of content and science at online education provider Filtered, warned that the data shows people are inaccurately assessing their own skills. “The bad news is that we are particularly poor at assessing our proficiency in skills where we are weak,” he said. “We lack the expertise in the subject to know what we don't know. Worse still, for skills that are relatively new to us the tendency is to over-estimate our ability, leading to the sort of complacency that the City & Guilds Group has identified.”

Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group, stressed the important roles leaders play in discussing the future of work. “It’s vital that leaders step up and tell the story of what the future workplace could look like and the skills that will be required," he said. "They also need to plan ahead and invest in the right training initiatives to support their employees to develop skills for the future. Otherwise, this false confidence could lead to skills gaps continuing to increase, productivity continuing to stagnate, and businesses struggling to compete in the global market.”