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Majority of companies fear people will lose jobs due to automation

Sixty-eight percent of Polish employers are convinced that the level of employment will be reduced due to automation. Most employees however do not share these concerns, according to the Labour Market Barometer survey published on Wednesday by Personnel Service, an employment and HR consultancy.

Only one in five of employees are afraid that automation poses a threat to their job, However, “18 percent of employees know someone who has lost their job during the pandemic due to developing technology,” the report reads.

Entrepreneurs surveyed said that the pace of innovation in their industry has accelerated since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Krzysztof Inglot, CEO of Personnel Service, the positions most exposed to automation include data entry specialists, secretaries, accountants, factory workers and HR specialists.

As Inglot pointed out, on the other hand, “experts expect an increase in demand for data analysts, specialists in artificial intelligence, machine learning and Big Data.”

The approach toward automation by companies has significantly changed over the last year, the report indicated. In the previous edition of the survey, 61 percent of companies assumed that automation would not affect the level of employment and only 30 percent were of the opposite opinion.

Currently, employers are highly aware of the need to train employees and adapt their skills to the changing needs of the labour market, the report added.

Of the enterprises surveyed, 46 percent now plan to train their staff in operating new devices and systems and 28 percent want to retrain some of them to retain employment.

Almost every second employer believes in government support in the field of employee retraining. “Only 13 percent, say that retraining is solely the responsibility of government, and 23 percent that it’s only a business task,” the report reads.

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