Government Urged to Create One Million High Tech Jobs by 2030

The Trade Union Congress has called on the government to create a million new high tech and manufacturing jobs over the next 12 years.

With a focus on manufacturing in the UK, TUC said more needs to be done to create technology-related jobs which could keep the manufacturing sector more relevant.  

In a report about the UK’s first outlined Industrial Strategy, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of TUC, highlighted the role of manufacturing plays in the UK economy, claiming it makes up 10% of the UK economy’s output, and called for more jobs in manufacturing and other high-tech sectors.

He said: “Put simply, governments have allowed manufacturing to decline. That has to stop. Instead, we need a government that believes in manufacturing, working with employers and unions, to meet the challenges ahead,”

Although the government’s industrial strategy said it was focused on investment in artificial intelligence (AI), digital skills and infrastructure, TUC’s report claimed the strategy has “achieved very little” since it was announced in 2017.

More should be done to develop employment opportunities, according to TUC, which demanded that at least a third of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund budget should be dedicated to ensuring investment in research and development is directed towards areas likely to produce employment opportunities.

In a blog post about TUC’s suggestions, TUC’s senior policy officer in the departments of economics and social affairs, Tim Page, said manufacturing is a vital part of the UK economy, which needs to utilise technology to reboot the sector.  

He said: “There are two common views of UK manufacturing. One looks back nostalgically and concludes Britain ‘doesn’t make anything anymore’. The other looks forward fearfully and concludes that, although the industry will survive, new technology means there will be fewer jobs,”

A quarter of people in the UK expect their jobs to be affected by automation, with sectors such as manufacturing likely to be influenced heavily due to the high number of repetitive tasks that can be performed by AI. However, experts believe automation will end up creating more jobs than it eliminates.

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