The focus of this report is an examination of occupations in Ireland in terms of their level of automation risk. The impact of automation is expected to result in an overall increase in the number of persons employed over time, but the type of jobs on offer are likely to change significantly. In the short to medium term, to assist employers and employees facing automation risk, widespread government support will be required to promote innovation, flexibility and opportunities in the workplace. This report focuses on those in employment in occupations that are considered at high risk of automation in order to assist policymakers in where to direct upskilling and/or reskilling opportunities.
There has been extensive commentary about the displacement threat to workers posed by automation and the ensuing socioeconomic implications. Internationally, fundamental work in this area was published by Frey & Osborne in 2013. Expert work by the OECD in 2018 further enhances the discussion around automation risk at an international level.
Within an Irish context, the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) have carried out a comprehensive assessment on the impact of automation in Ireland in 2018. The Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS have applied the analysis produced by IGEES on the OECD model to the CSO Labour Force Survey Quarter 4 2019 data, to identify occupations in Ireland in terms of their level of automation risk (for more detailed information on the methodology used see the Technical Note at the end of the report).
The analysis in this report is based on the 16 occupational groups in the occupation employment profiles section of the National Skills Bulletin. The report also provides details on the profile of the cohorts most likely to be affected by automation in terms of age, gender, nationality and the region of employment.