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Job losses to robots will cause backlash

AUTOMATION and robotics will put large numbers of service sector jobs at risk but companies seeking to embrace the change will face “serious” resistance, Virgin Australia chair Elizabeth Bryan says.
“Jobs in the service sector that were largely immune from job losses during the last stage of globalisation are now at risk because of these advances in robotics,” Ms Bryan told the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ governance summit in Melbourne.
“However, don’t think for a moment that boards will be able to drive waves of mass reduction in employment without very serious pushback.”
The service sector is by far the largest employer in Australia, as it is in most developed countries, and no company can afford to be left behind in the race to cut costs, she said.
A professional director who is also chairman of insurer IAG and recently stepped down from the board of Westpac, Ms Bryan warned no company is immune from cyber attack, and boards must be aware of their cyber security measures.
The cost of cyber attacks is more than the gross domestic product of about 160 of the 196 countries in the world, she said. “Cyber security has grown into such a mission critical function that it must come out of the technical backroom and become part of the expertise of a boardroom,” Ms Bryan said.

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