The homework boom risks the loss of 6 million UK professional jobs, business news and top stories



LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – One in five UK-based jobs could be relocated to other countries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, threatening the loss of well-paid employees.

So says the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, which warned that 5.9 million workers “everywhere” – from graphic designers to software programmers – are at risk, many in London and south east England.

“If left unaddressed, outsourcing and offshoring these roles would have political, economic and social consequences similar to the loss of manufacturing jobs in the 1970s, but in an accelerated timeframe,” the research group said in a report released Wednesday ( 15th June).

The warning underscores the permanent changes in the labor market caused by the pandemic. The “mass experiment” with remote working means that companies worried about costs could choose to keep only core staff who are needed for face-to-face collaboration and decision-making, the report said.

The institute founded by former Prime Minister Tony Blair called on the government to address the threat of improving infrastructure – like childcare and 5G broadband connectivity – and training, especially in soft skills.

It is also said that jobs at risk include 1.7 million in finance, research and real estate.

The loss of jobs to digital platforms or cheaper labor elsewhere could undermine the government’s upgrading agenda.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 58 percent of companies that want to continue working at home are motivated by cost reductions, for example by renting office space in city centers.

“Opportunities are no longer just determined by geography, but also by connectivity,” says Jeegar Kakkad, Head of Innovation and Productivity at the institute.


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