Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to have a significant impact on the UK job market, with a new report warning that up to 8 million jobs could be lost in a “jobs apocalypse.” The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has analyzed 22,000 tasks across all job types and found that AI could automate a significant portion of the workforce, with entry-level, part-time, and administrative jobs being the most vulnerable.

The Threat of AI Automation

The report highlights the challenges facing the UK government as it increasingly bets on AI to drive economic growth. AI is already impacting 11% of tasks done by UK staff, a figure that could rise to almost 60% if firms integrate the technology more deeply. This first wave of AI adoption is already putting jobs at risk, and a second wave of AI could lead to the automation of more jobs, including higher-earning roles in areas like database creation, copywriting, and graphic design.

Disproportionate Impact on Women and Young Workers

The report warns that women and younger workers are at the greatest risk of being displaced by AI. Women are more likely to work in the occupations that are most exposed to automation, such as secretarial and administrative roles. Additionally, companies may choose to rely more on AI for entry-level tasks, reducing the number of graduate vacancies.

Preventing a “Jobs Apocalypse”

The IPPR report suggests that government action can prevent a “jobs apocalypse” and help harness the power of AI to boost economic growth and raise wages. The think tank recommends that the government develop an industrial AI strategy to support job transitions and ensure the distribution of automation gains rather than allowing them to be captured by a few companies.

Investing in Upskilling and Reskilling

The report also highlights the importance of investing in skills development and upskilling to help workers adapt to the changing job market. Janine Chamberlin, the UK country manager for LinkedIn, notes that fewer than half of UK businesses are currently investing in upskilling their workers and that this needs to change.