Aviva staff asked whether their job could be done by a robot

Picture: ANTONY KELLY.

Picture: ANTONY KELLY. - Credit: � ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

Insurance giant Aviva has asked employees whether their jobs could be done better by robots - with those who answer 'yes' being retrained for another role at the firm.

The question posed to the company's 16,000 staff in Britain is thought to be a world first, as other companies has introduced automation without consultation.

And experts have said staff who work in Aviva's call centres, assess customers' credit ratings and calculate the price of insurance policies are most likely to have to retain.

Research by Oxford University recently warned that 35pc of jobs in the UK were in danger of automation over the next 20 years. Insurance underwriters were at the top of the list, rated 98.9pc at risk.

However, other experts have said there were similar dire predictions during previous periods of technological upheaval. Millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost to automation in factories, yet unemployment currently stands at a record 74.6pc.

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