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The impact of the growth of new technologies on employment in Northern Ireland

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Technology has affected the way that we study, how we communicate, the way we shop, how we exercise to mention just a few ways. The growth of new technologies, particularly in recent years, has affected employment in Northern Ireland.

Many businesses have embraced new technologies as a way to remain competitive in the global market. Businesses are employing people who are confident and knowledgeable in using new technologies and who are also adaptable and prepared to continue to re-train to keep their skills up-to-date.

Some jobs can be performed much more quickly and efficiently with the help of technology. For example new technology may increase the administrative efficiency of a business and thus improve communication.

However, the impact of new technologies in the workplace has meant that some jobs have disappeared and other jobs will disappear in the future.

Some jobs that are disappearing (or have disappeared):

Meter reader - the man/woman reading an electricity/gas meter has been replaced by customers emailing their reading to the electricity/gas company.

Travel Agents - replaced as people can plan and book their own flights, accommodation, events, holidays themselves.

Agricultural workers - cows are now milked by robots/machines as the volume of milk produced is substantially more.

Telephone operators - the person at the end of the phone is replaced by touch-sensitive phones and pre-recorded messages.

What is the impact of the growth of new technologies on businesses?

Due to new technologies, many businesses are leaving the high street and going online because the internet provides easy access for people to buy products and

services online. This can save the business money in the long run as it cuts

out the middleman, the shop assistant, the sales assistant and rent on high street premises.

Factory jobs are becoming less and less as new and emerging technology is replacing people with machines. Therefore jobs can be performed much more quickly and efficiently which leads to more sales and bigger profits for the business.

Self-service checkouts in supermarkets are becoming more popular with the introduction of scanning machines, so therefore people who worked as supermarket cashiers are now supervising customers at checkouts.

Fewer jobs are needed in travel agencies and insurance offices as customers shop for holidays and insurance deals using their own devices. These roles are replaced by online agencies and online workers in online businesses such as travelsupermarket and moneysupermarket.

Computers can monitor stock levels in many businesses, so manual stock-taking jobs are no longer required.

There are new job and career opportunities with businesses such as web design, app development, social media managing.

New technologies are also changing how people are employed with the introduction of apps such as Uber, Deliveroo, Just Eat.

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