While that change is generally seen in a positive light, our ‘Tech in a Transforming Britain’ report revealed there are some innovations that may take longer to be widely accepted.
While only 41% are uncomfortable with the idea of being picked up by a driverless car, for example, less than 20% would put their child in one.
Technology advancements are also having an unprecedented impact on employment. Because the digital age is transforming business models and working practices across all industries as we know it, jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago are now being created.
For instance, when asked about the top three jobs that won’t exist in 10 years’ time due to technology, the public cited bank tellers, shelf-stackers and shop assistants.
Although a digital-first nation has put a lot of jobs at risk of disappearing, in fact a huge amount of jobs are being created in place of them.
But this means people need the right skills to make sure they’re properly equipped to adopt these new roles.
Indeed, the UK skills gap predicted to cost the economy £90 billion a year by 2024, this is not something we should be taking lightly.
Despite this, it is still clear that technology can have a positive impact with the majority believing it can positively impact the development of new skills. And another positive from our research was that less than one-in-10 of the UK public think the skills gap is the biggest challenge facing the UK today.
But how confident is the public of their own digital skills?
With technology one of the biggest drivers of change in the UK for the public and businesses, the research revealed almost two-thirds (63%) of business leaders are confident their employees have the right skills to make the most of new technologies.
Despite business leader confidence, the majority of the public did not echo this confidence when it came to their own skills.
Only a third (37%) of the public believe they themselves are fully prepared for technology changes and have the skills to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.
What’s more, the level at which people felt prepared differed significantly by age.
While the majority of those aged 25-34 felt properly equipped to take on these changes, less than quarter of those aged over 55 agreed with this notion.
So, whose responsibility is it to upskill the current workforce?
When it comes to industries where advances in technology do displace jobs, 60% of the UK’s public believe the technology companies are responsible for reskilling the affected people.
With the general public looking to the private sector to drive Britain forward, businesses need to work harder to educate the nation on the benefit these changes can bring.
After all, if we want to build the best possible society we need to ensure the general public is confident about their ability to adapt to technological change.
And with two-fifths of the UK public believing technology companies are responsible for reskilling those impacted by technological change, there is an expectation for technology companies, in particular, to educate the nation on how they can adapt to this transformation in the long-run
By Rupal Karia, Head of Commercial Sector at Fujitsu.