Friday 20 September 2019

Irish workers face 50pc chance their job will be automated

(stock picture)
(stock picture)
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

IRISH workers face an almost 50pc chance their job will be automated in little more than a decade.

The stark warning came as the Government announced the projects that have won a share in €75m in grants under the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF).

The fund is a “key element” of the Government’s Future Jobs initiative.

Business minister Heather Humphreys praised the 27 projects that have secured the first tranche of funding.

She said they have devised “ground-breaking solutions that will help us to future-proof our economy”.

She said the DTIF is about “ensuring that Ireland can stay ahead of the game to secure the jobs of the future”.

Ms Humphreys said disruptive technologies will significantly change the way people work and live and they need to be embraced.

She pointed to a recent Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study which estimated that Irish workers face a 46pc probability of their jobs being automated by the 2030s.

She said: “we cannot afford to stand still”.

The minister said Ireland is lucky to have “amazing companies that are doing amazing things in technology, both indigenous and multinational.

“We also have world-class researchers so there is a lot we can achieve by working together”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar joined Ms Humphreys at the announcement at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Dublin.

The cash allocated is part of €500m to be awarded over ten years under the government’s Project Ireland 2040 plan.

Mr Varadkar said that Ireland must adapt to a future of greater digitalisation and automation.

He said: “Today’s school children will be employed in jobs and industries that don’t exist yet. Technology will eliminate or transform existing occupations.”

He said the Future Jobs initiative is being developed “to meet these challenges”.

Those gathered at the launch were briefed on projects that have been granted funding.

One of them, which is led by the RCSI is designed to improve colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The college’s partners in the project are a company called Deciphex, IBM Research and University College Dublin.

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