From education to employment

Concerns over threat of AI leading to surge in future-proof trade jobs

robot hand touching real hand

A FEAR of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) making some careers redundant is helping fuel a surge in interest in hands-on trades, a jobs expert has revealed.

Advances in technology and a drive towards renewable energy is having a major impact on the jobs market, with some popular roles at risk of being left behind or dying out completely.

And workers are increasingly aware of the need to future-proof themselves when choosing what to do for a living, leading them to hands-on jobs that cannot be fulfilled by robots.

Malcolm Tuckett, course advisor at tradesperson training experts Engineering Real Results, said:

“The electrical industry is soaring in popularity for people choosing a new career path and this will only continue in the coming years.

“As the UK continues its drive towards carbon reduction, and as technological advances such as robotics and AI become more influential, more people are becoming aware of the need to develop skills and experience that will be relevant in the future.

“They are very aware that some traditional careers such as factory workers, retail assistants, and writing and editing are increasingly under threat from robotics and AI platforms such as ChatGPT.

“It’s a trend that’s having a major impact across the UK jobs market, and more and more people are considering how hands-on jobs and trades such as electricians, plumbers and welders will continue to be highly in demand.

“Robotics can’t survive without an electrical engineer to install and maintain them, homes and businesses will continue to need plumbers and welding is a skill that is used across any number of industries, from automotive to aerospace.”

Engineering Real Results (ERR) specialises in providing trades skills and training. It places students at development sites where they can work on live projects to further their experience and gain NVQ qualifications.

It has training centres up and down the country including Yorkshire, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Hertfordshire and Essex.

And ERR is helping fill the skills gap that currently exists in the UK, which is affecting vital industries such as construction and renewable energy.

Mr Tuckett added:

“The majority of our students are between 25 to 55 and often come to us to switch their career.

“This can be anything from retail and hospitality workers, to call centre staff and lorry drivers. They want greater control over what they do and what they earn.

“The good thing about learning with us is that it is done alongside our students’ existing jobs. They have bills to pay and can’t just give up a job to go training full-time, so they do it alongside their current commitments.

“We’re increasingly seeing students who are aware they need to learn new skills that will stand them in good stead, such as electrical engineers and renewable energy experts.

“Learning a trade means you can be self-employed and after the Covid-19 pandemic people are becoming more determined to find a work-life balance, as well as earning a good salary.”

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