A speech by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England in which he predicts that over time upto 15 million jobs are at risk of automation in the UK. The occupations at risk include that of estate agent, call centre operative and customer service roles.
The Industrial Revolution saw the replacement of the artisan craftsman by the cotton mill but, ultimately the jobs market adjusted to the change and mass unemployment (as invisioned by Carney in the present instance) did not result. However the past is not, of course an infallible guide to the future although we can learn much from history.
One job which does, in my view remain safe is that of barmaid and barman. Particularly in locals (pubs which serve a group of “regulars”, for they are much more than places to which people repair in order to drink. There is, in a good local a tremendous rapre between the bar staff and the “regulars” with friendships and, on occasions relationships being forged across the bar. While in vast supermarket-like pubs (which usually serve an ever changing customer base) I can envisage vending machines playing a much greater role and perhaps replacing bar staff (other than a manager or 2) completely, I cant see this happening in all pubs. Indeed its perfectly possible that having “real” staff behind the bar will be a selling point for those pubs who retain them.
For the article please visit, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/mark-carney-speech-robots_uk_584675e1e4b07ac724498813.
“Excuse me please”. The throng parts letting me through. Sometimes a kind soul holds open the door allowing me to enter.
In all weathers the die hards stand puffing away. In summer the scent of cigarettes wafts through the pub’s open door bringing with it memories of yester year, a time when walls turned yellow with nicotine and I, a non smoker returned home, my clothes smelling of smoke, cursing the filthy weed.
The rain drives the hardy band ever closer to the pub’s sheltering doorway
“Excuse me, excuse me” I say attempting to retain my fixed smile as I try to enter or leave.
Some said the British would never stand for it, this intrusion into the rights of the individual to light up in public. But what about the liberty of the non smoker not to have his lungs clogged with poison? The latter argument won the day.
and so you stand. Not quite the last hurrah but something noble in your tenacity not to give up despite the pouring rain.
I sit enjoying a pint, thinking of the bedraggled smokers outside.
“Come on big man” the drunk slurred. He attempted to steady himself glaring bailfully at his opponent who looked back, his bloodshot eyes stirring straight into those of the drunkard.
“Come on, think you’re tough. I’ll show you what hard is” the drunk said spittle flying from his lips. The other mimicked the drunkard’s actions further inflaming his addled brain.
“You taking the piss are you, I’ll make you smile on the other side of your ugly mug, you see if I won’t”. The drunkard stepped back and, raising his fist brought it crashing down on the face of his tormenter. The shop window shattered sending shards of glass tinkling down onto the pavement.
“Come back you coward” yelled the drunkard glaring at the spot where his reflection had been.