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Press Release

Pearson study reveals UK jobs most at risk from Generative AI

Wed 29 Nov 2023

Pearson has released research findings indicating that white collar jobs in the UK are more susceptible to the impact of Generative AI than blue collar roles.

This shift, expected to unfold over the next ten years, is detailed in the latest Pearson Skills Outlook report which assesses the effect of Generative AI on over 5,000 jobs across five countries.

The study revealed that approximately 30% of tasks in certain white-collar roles could be undertaken by Generative AI. In contrast, less than 1% of tasks in many blue collar jobs are likely to be impacted by this technology.

Jobs in the white collar sector, particularly those involving repetitive tasks like scheduling and call handling, are identified as being more vulnerable to AI automation. Conversely, roles requiring a high degree of manual labour or customer service, common in blue collar professions, are less likely to be replaced by AI.

In the UK, the top five white collar roles most impacted by Generative AI include Medical Secretaries and Communication Operators, with potential task automation percentages reaching 41% and 40% respectively.

The most affected blue collar jobs are led by Buyers and Procurement Officers, with up to 27% of their tasks potentially automated or augmented by Generative AI.

Mike Howells, President of Pearson Workforce Skills, said: “As employees look to the future, understanding which jobs are at risk from AI allows them to prepare. Workers and employers should look at how they can ride this wave of change by using the best of AI and the best of human skills together.

“Whether that is using the technology to take over repetitive tasks, so people can focus on high value activities, or enhancing those uniquely human skills like creativity, communication and leadership.“

The report also highlighted the least impacted jobs, with Civil Engineers, Chief Executives, and Sales roles among the white collar professions least likely to be affected. Positions such as Launderers, Dry Cleaners, and Painters in the blue collar sector showing zero impact from Generative AI.

Pearson’s analysis provided insights into the percentage of time saved due to generative AI by 2032, thereby identifying jobs most or least susceptible to technological disruption.

This research underscores the evolving landscape of job roles and the growing influence of AI technology on the workforce.


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