Slow Uptake of Automation ‘Means UK Companies are Falling Behind’

Written by: Keith Tully

Published: 18th September 2019


More needs to be done to encourage UK companies to integrate automation technologies into their operations if they are to compete effectively with rivals elsewhere in the world.

That’s according to a report put together by a committee of MPs in Westminster, which fears that entire regions of the country, as well as individual businesses, will become uncompetitive in the coming years - if they aren’t already.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee has said that the UK is currently only moving slowly towards automation and needs to pick up the pace as a matter of urgency.

It has said that Britain is already lagging behind other countries in the G7 group of advanced economies, who are tending to integrate robots and other automated technologies more quickly.

The committee insists that it wants to see the government coming forward with a serious plan of action on this front soon and a full ‘UK Robot and AI Strategy’ by the end of 2020.

Measures included in any such strategy documents should focus on finding ways to support businesses in becoming more automated and encourage universities to focus on innovations in these contexts, the committee says.

“The switch to automation brings challenges for businesses and for workers, with fears for livelihoods or disruption to job roles coming to the fore,” said Rachael Reeves, chair of the BEIS committee.

“The real danger for the UK economy and for future jobs growth is, however, not that we have too may robots in the workplace but that we have too few.”

Ms Reeves went on to say that countries that adapt to developments in automation more quickly than the UK will ultimately create more and better paid jobs.

The BEIS committee’s report concludes that there is currently a widespread lack of awareness and understanding of automation technologies that is hindering business productivity, particularly among SMEs across the country.

“The government should work with universities and businesses to provide the advice, networking, and access to finance necessary for the UK to reap the benefits of domestic tech success stories rather than too often seeing these businesses get snapped up by overseas investors,” Ms Reeves said as she announced her committee’s new report.

Keith Tully

Keith Tully

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts
Director Support - Business suffering from Cash-Flow Problems?
If your company is financially distressed, we also offer the below services:
Business debt recovery

  • Recover Unpaid Invoices of £5k+
  • Expert Credit Control Services
  • Stop Late Payers & Bad Debts
Visit Site
Time to pay experts

  • Get Breathing Space with HMRC
  • Support with Business Tax Arrears
  • 35 Years HMRC Negotiation
Visit Site
UK Business Finance

  • Rejected for a CBILS Loan?
  • Get Emergency Business Funding
  • Supporting 1000+ UK Companies
Visit Site
Who we help
  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships
Contact our team
Jonathan Munnery
Gillian Sayburn
Julie Palmer
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Business Rescue Advice for Directors
Free Guide for Limited Company Directors
Business Rescue Advice for Directors
  • How to manage company cash flow problems
  • Advice on dealing with HMRC
  • Understanding rescue and closure options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
Business Rescue Guide for Accountants
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
  • Helping you advise insolvent clients
  • Spotting signs of client distress
  • Exploring business rescue options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Our numbers speak for themselves
Number of UK Offices
Directors Helped
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

This site uses cookies to monitor site performance and provide a more responsive and personalised experience. You must agree to our use of certain cookies. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please read our PRIVACY POLICY