Peterborough in Cambridgeshire is amongst a number of UK cities likely to lose more than a fifth of current jobs to automation by 2030.
Research by Centre for Cities suggests people in Peterborough, Liverpool, Hull, Burnley and Mansfield are all falling behind in gaining the skills they need to cope with changes in the workplace.
According to the research, the share of pupils achieving decent school grades in maths and English in these areas was below the national average.
Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: "Automation andglobalisation are transforming the world of work but too many people across the country aren't gaining the skills they need to thrive in future.
"Urgent and concerted action is needed to address these issues and to develop an education system which is fit for the future at all levels.
"Above all, politicians at all levels need to wake up to the scale of thechallenges posed by automation.
"Adult learning in particular has been in decline for the last 15 years - wecan't afford another lost decade if we are to provide current and future workers with the skills they need to prosper."
It is not the first time industries though to be exempt from the threat of automation are seeing a growth in technological demand.
Research led by Dr Vishuu Mohan, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, is looking into reducing production costs by using robots to harvest strawberries.