CAM18 - Test 3 - Part 3 (Listen and Read)
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CAM18 - Test 3 - Part 3
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That seminar yesterday on automation and the future of work was really good, wasn't it?
Looking at the first industrial revolution in Britain in the 19th century
and seeing how people reacted to massive change was a real eye opener.
It was interesting to hear how people felt about automation then
and what challenges they faced.
I didn't know that first started with workers in the textile industry.
With those protesting workers called the Luddites
destroying their knitting machines because they were so worried about losing their jobs.
Yes, and ultimately, they didn't achieve anything.
And anyway, industrialisation created more jobs than it destroyed.
Yes, that's true,
but it probably didn't seem a positive thing at the time.
I can see why the Luddites felt so threatened.
I'm sure I would have felt the same.
The discussion about the future of work was really optimistic for a change.
I like the idea that work won't involve doing boring, repetitive tasks,
as robots will do all that.
Normally, you only hear negative stuff about the future.
Bit too optimistic, don't you think?
For example, I can't see how people are about to have more leisure time,
when all the evidence shows people are spending longer than ever at work.
No, that's true.
And what about lower unemployment?
I'm not so sure about that.
Perhaps in the long term,
but not in the foreseeable future.
And I expect most people will be expected to work until they're much older
as everyone's living much longer.
That's already happening.
I enjoyed all that stuff on how technology's changed some jobs
and how they're likely to change in the near future.
You might think all the technological innovations would have put them out of a job,
but in fact there are more of them than ever.
They're still really in demand and have become far more efficient.
Right. That was amazing.
Twenty times more accountants in this country compared to the 19th century.
I'd never have thought that demand for hairdressing would have gone up so much in the last hundred years.
One hairdresser for every 287 people now,
compared to one for over 1,500.
Yeah because people's earning power has gone up so they can afford to spend more on personal services like that.
But technology hasn't changed the actual job that much.
No, they've got hairdryers, etc.
but it's one job where you don't depend on a computer...
The kind of work that administrative staff do has changed enormously, thanks to technology.
Even 20 years ago there were secretaries doing dictation and typing.
Yes. Really boring compared to these days,
when they're given much more responsibility and higher status.
A lot of graduates go in for this kind of work now...
I'd expected there to be a much bigger change in the number of agricultural workers in the 19th century.
But the 1871 census showed that roughly 25% of the population worked on the land.
Yeah, I'd have assumed it would be more than 50%.
Now it's less than 0.2%.
Hmm... What about care workers?
They barely existed in the 19th century
as people's lifespan was so much shorter.
But now of course this sector will see huge growth.
Yeah, and it's hard enough to meet current demand.
The future looks quite bleak for bank clerks.
They've been in decline since ATMs were introduced in the 80s.
And technology will certainly make most of the jobs they do now redundant, I think.
I agree, although the situation may change.
It's very hard to predict what will happen.