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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04418: Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 3 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the estimate in Deloitte report, State of the State 2016-17, which suggests that one-in-six jobs in the public sector could be lost to automation.

Answered by: Keith Brown 15 November 2016

We’re committed to ensuring the public sector workforce is fit-for-purpose and can deliver on our digital transformation ambitions. This includes ensuring the resources we have are invested in front-line services.

Digital transformation in itself requires the employment of a range of professions as we design digital services, standardise our processes across the public sector and simplify processes for the user. Potential effects of ‘automation’, are problematic to quantify, as there are often unforeseen developments in any given labour market with technological advances.

However, the report by Deloitte also indicated that Brexit was an important threat to Scotland’s economy, jobs and long-term prosperity.

Analysis shows that the potential cost of leaving the European Union to the Scottish economy is up to £11.2 billion per year by 2030. And the independent Fraser of Allander Institute has forecast that Brexit could cost Scotland up to 80,000 jobs over the next decade.