All MPs and peers face a learning curve to get to grips with the so called "Fourth Industrial revolution" or 4IR, according to Conservative Alan Mak.

The Havant MP is planning to help politicians understand the opportunities and challenges of new technologies, such as 3D printing, when he officially launches the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the 4IR alongside the Chancellor Philip Hammond on 20 March.

"There has been a huge amount of interest," he told IBTimes UK. "Despite the fact that there's a broad spread of ages in the House of Commons, there's a lot of interest in technology and how it affect people on the ground in communities across the country.

Mak, who was first elected to parliament in 2015, added: "This is something that excites people of all ages and backgrounds. For all of us [in parliament] there's a learning curve regardless of age."

A 2016 study by The Oxford University and Deloitte found that 850,000 public sector jobs in the UK could be lost to automation by 2030.

But the accountancy firm also found that there was "strong evidence" to suggest it has helped create almost 3.5 million new higher-skilled jobs. Should workers in Britain fear the rise of the machines?

"Every time we've had technological advancement, we've managed through creativity and ingenuity to create new jobs," Mak said. "I'm very confident that if we get the 4IR right we can use this to create new jobs and build new businesses."

Mak, who backed a Remain vote at the EU referendum, also argued that Brexit should be seen as an "opportunity" to foster and attract 4IR companies to the UK.

Alan Mak MP
Alan Mak MP Alan Mak MP

He cited, among other things, Facebook's post-Brexit vote 500-strong recruitment drive and Google's plan to build a new London HQ for 7,000 employees. But role should the government play in relation to the 4IR?

"I think the success of the 4IR in Britain will be a partnership between the private sector, academia and the government," he said.

"So the government has a limited role to play – that role is largely as an enabler, creating the right conditions for 4IR to flourish.

"And as a funder, helping to kick-start projects and to help people get businesses to get off the ground and as a champion for the UK as an investment destination.

"Our job is not to be the planner or the picker in the same way the government was in the 1970s, with organisations like British Leyland, but our job is to create the right conditions."

Elsewhere, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson has also launched his own investigation into the 4IR. The West Bromwich East MP has warned that up to 11 million UK jobs could be lost as a result of automation revolution.

"Only our party, with our belief in partnership and the enabling state can forge a new industrial strategy, fit for the age of automation, fit for the epoch of drones, robots and automated systems," Watson said. "We're going to have to take head on the hour-glass economy, the future of work and the need to spread prosperity and not concentrate it in fewer hands."