Almost half of workers (48%) believe AI will improve their career and promotion prospects.
This number far outstrips fears of using the technology, according to Randstad's latest Workmonitor Pulse, based on insights from job postings and the views of over 1,500 employees around the country. A further 47% see AI as making an impact on their industries and roles.
However, a mere 7% of UK employees have been offered any AI training in the last year. This is despite one in four (24%) employees saying they already use AI within their day to day roles.
Employers should address gap in training expectations
Almost half of those surveyed (48%) are aware that learning and development will be important to future proof their careers and earning potential.
Employees rank AI (19%) as the 4th most important skill set for development, behind leadership skills (25%); wellbeing and mindfulness (23%); and coaching and mentoring (20%).
While employees clearly appreciate how AI skills could support them in their current and future roles, a gap exists between the training they want and training they receive.
When it comes to AI skills training the research found that only 7% of respondents received training in the last 12-months, while 19% expect some over the course of the next year. On the whole, 30% of those surveyed reported they received no learning and development opportunities in the past 12-months, and the figure widens when considering blue-collar workers (43%).
Training increases in importance versus flexibility
When looking at generational differences, the data shows that Gen Z now value learning and development (17%) more highly than their organisation’s culture (16%) — while remuneration still remains of primary importance.
Younger staff are also feeling the most empowered to take action if their demands on training are not met, with a third (33%) saying that they would quit a job if they were not offered learning and development opportunities in the next twelve months, more than double the number of baby boomers (12%).
Victoria Short, CEO of Randstad UK said: “It is clear that more employers are seeking talent with AI skills — our international analysis of job ads shows a 2000% uptick since Q1. AI is increasingly an enabler of skills, commanding a profound impact on productivity and overall performance in the workplace. But the imbalance between skills demanded by businesses and those desired by employees, on the one hand, and the training opportunities provided, on the other, has to be addressed.
“AI is here to stay and the benefits of it are very clear — our data shows that employees stand ready to embrace it for their own gain, too. Successful organisations will be those that leverage this readiness and harness the opportunities of AI in their workforce."