William Eichler 06 February 2017

Technology could make 250,000 admin roles redundant in public sector

Smart machines and autonomous robots could make nearly 250,000 administrative roles redundant, report argues.

A new study from the think tank Reform has claimed by exploiting advances in technology managers could develop ‘leaner and better performing’ workforces which, in turn, would deliver better public services.

The report said many routine administrative roles have a 96% chance of being automated and over the next 10 to 15 years, central government departments could further reduce headcount by 130,000, saving £2.6bn from the 2016-17 wage bill.

Citing research from Oxford University, Reform revealed that in the NHS 91,208 of 112,726 administrator roles (outside of primary care) could be automated, reducing the wage bill by approximately £1.7bn.

The report – entitled Work in Progress – also said there was a potential reduction of 24,000 roles, mostly receptionists, across the NHS at the primary care level, from the 2015 total.

In total, this would result in 248,860 administrative roles being replaced by technology, Reform said.

The think tank described the report as ‘a framework to make twenty-first century services fit for twenty-first century citizens.’

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