Business closures and unemployment will only occur if Britain fails to fully embrace automation, the managing director at PP Electrical Systems Tony Hague has said.

Suggesting that the opposite of common belief on automation may actually be accurate, Hague cites Germany as a prime example of a country that has used automation to improve its competitive advantage and reduce its costs. He also notes that the UK is slowly coming round to the idea that automation is not so bad after all.

“We can’t get away from the fact that we already drive cars and watch TVs that have been assembled by robots,” he stated. “However, has this resulted in mass unemployment in automotive or consumer electronics? No, in fact they have grown and evolved, creating thousands of jobs directly and in the supply chains that support them.”

His comments come after Deloitte claimed that around a third of jobs will be threatened due to automation. He believes instead that the UK’s lack of automation understanding will result in businesses losing their competitive advantage. This, he says, is what will result in job losses and factory closures, reports engineeringcapacity.com.

He added that although automation is likely to have an impact on lower skilled roles, it will help businesses grow and compete against international firms. This means that, later down the line, they’ll need to hire more people to fill higher value positions, reports expressandstar.com.

“The real and immediate threat is not embracing automation, it is letting fear and misunderstanding ruin its true potential,” he explained.

Author: Laura Varley