THOUSANDS of jobs could be lost to robots, according to an “alarming” new report.

But West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes said the area can rise to the challenge and the UK government’s Brexit plans were a more serious threat.

The Cities Outlook report warns that automation could displace one in five jobs in Scottish cities - or 230,000 jobs - by 2030.

The report says that the locations of the jobs most likely to be replaced by robot labour could also heighten the north-south divide in the UK.

Of all the jobs at risk, 112,700 could go in Glasgow alone. But the report also said about nine per cent of jobs are in occupations expected to grow in future.

The number of low skilled jobs set to grow is 27 per cent, higher than the number of high skilled jobs at 25 per cent.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said: “This report is a welcome reminder of the implications of technological change for the economy and society in Scotland and across the UK.

“As the nature of work changes It offers both opportunities and challenges for our workplaces. We all have a role to play in creating a skills system that supports lifelong learning so that the workforce is equipped for the industries of the future.

“Small, independent countries like Estonia are already rising to the challenges of technological advancement. It’s critical that the government takes action now to ensure the UK isn’t left behind.

“The prospect of the loss of one in five jobs due to automation is alarming. However, the report also highlights its potential for economic growth and the creation of new highly-skilled jobs in the future – especially in the most human of industries such as creativity and the arts.”

He added: “The biggest threat to the economy just now isn’t automation, it’s a Tory hard Brexit which even the UK government’s own forecasts show will have a devastating impact on jobs and living standards.”