A ROBOT revolution could take over nearly half of Scottish jobs in just over a decade, a new report has warned.

Scotland is the highest skilled nation in the UK but employers are not doing enough to help workers cope with the changes, according to the researchers.

They have found there is a “clear gap in mid-career provision, which employers are not addressing”.

The Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland said about 1.2 million jobs — about 46 per cent — are at “high risk” of being taken over by machines by 2030.

By then, according to the institute, people will be “more likely to be working longer, and will often have multiple jobs”.

The institute has called for changes to help people get more career support and training so they can cope with the robot revolution.

It said employers needed to invest more in training.and there was a need for a skills system in Scotland that can work with people in jobs throughout their careers, rather than solely at the start.

“Scotland has a clear gap in training and learning for people who have already started their careers, with a greater focus on younger people, and full-time provision in recent years,” said the report. “Employers are not plugging this gap, and too often pursue a low-skill business model.”

IPPR Scotland said there should be a new mid-career learning route — an Open Institute of Technology — to sit alongside apprenticeships and further education to help to train the current workforce to be ready for the future challenges Scotland’s economy faces.

While qualifications in Scotland have been steadily improving and are higher than levels in the UK as a whole, the nation “continues to have lower rates of in-work progression” while wages have been cut in real terms and are lower than those in the rest of the UK, according to the report.

It said skills qualifications “should be reviewed to ensure they remain fit for their purpose” and urged the Scottish government to look at using business tax allowances to encourage employers to invest in improving people’s skills.

“Scotland urgently needs to design a skills system better able to work with people already into their careers to help them to retrain, reskill and respond to world of work of 2030,” said IPPR Scotland director Russell Gunson.

“Scotland has a really strong record on skills in many ways, and in this report we find that Scotland is the highest-skilled nation in the UK.

“However, our system has a clear gap in that we don’t have enough provision for people who have already started their careers, and employers are not investing to fill this gap.

“To respond to the huge changes facing Scotland around demographic, technological and climate change — and of course Brexit — we’re going to have to focus on retrofitting the current workforce to provide them with the skills they need, to deliver the inclusive economic growth we wish to see.

“Our report makes a number of recommendations to help Scotland plot a path through these challenges, to reform the skills system in Scotland, to help to secure an economy that delivers fairness and reduces inequality.

“Without reform of the skills system we could see changes to the economy harm whole sections of population, and whole communities, leaving many behind.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Our Labour Market Strategy recognises that Scotland’s workforce is highly educated, flexible and adaptable. It’s already responding well to the challenges of the twenty-first century. We know the pace of technological change will be relentless in the years ahead, but we are confident there will be opportunities, as well as challenges, for a country with Scotland’s fundamental economic strengths.”

Hugh Aitken, CBI Scotland director, said: “Technological change is set to change the world of work, bringing both benefits and challenges. While reaping the rewards of improved productivity, businesses must also play their part in ensuring employees can transition to higher skilled roles that the future labour market will offer.”