The rise of robots could put up to 16 per cent of jobs in Worthing under threat by 2030, a think tank has warned.
Centre for Cities’ annual report into the health of 63 locations across the country, released this week, focused on the threat of automation and globalisation.
But while the number of threatened jobs seems startling, the report said Worthing was the fourth-least at risk of the 63 – and the jobs market was expected to evolve to compensate for the impact.
Worthing Borough Council leader Dan Humphreys said: “The report reinforces our view that we, as civic leaders, must continue to work with businesses leaders and other partners to develop our local economy to ensure it remains robust to outside factors, such as globalisation and automation.
“This is why we remain committed to driving forward growth in the town. The regeneration of key sites such as Union Place, Teville Gate and Aquarena will not only create homes and jobs, they will generate investment in the town centre which is good news for all residents.”
The annual report ranks towns and cities in a number of categories.
Worthing had the second-best employment rate, with 83.1 per cent in work between July, 2016, and June, 2017, beaten only by Crawley.
The town topped the pile when it came to access to ultrafast broadband, ranked sixth for low carbon dioxide emissions and had the seventh-lowest percentage of residents with no formal qualifications.
But Mr Humphreys noted there was room for improvement elsewhere.
He said: “It is also worth noting that the average weekly workplace wage in Worthing is relatively low, something which was also highlighted in our economic strategy.
“We are placing a real emphasis on developing skills within the town, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, and are also developing an already burgeoning digital and creative sector, which will mean that local people can have access to higher-paid jobs.
“We will also continue to lobby for greater investment in skills and infrastructure whether that’s direct to government ministers or through partnership bodies such as Greater Brighton and Coastal West Sussex.”