Creating a future-ready workforce means bridging the AI skills gap now

Emerging technology is permeating every aspect of working life. The hybrid-first norm relies on a plethora of tech-fuelled tools to thrive and manage connection with both peers and customers, events and networking hinge on the capabilities of tools such as Zoom, Google Meets and Teams, and of course, AI is augmenting everything from payroll processes to the products that we put in front of our stakeholders...
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Creating a future-ready workforce means bridging the AI skills gap now

Emerging technology is permeating every aspect of working life. The hybrid-first norm relies on a plethora of tech-fuelled tools to thrive and manage connection with both peers and customers, events and networking hinge on the capabilities of tools such as Zoom, Google Meets and Teams, and of course, AI is augmenting everything from payroll processes to the products that we put in front of our stakeholders.

In this transformative period, it’s AI that stands out as a potentially revolutionary force, promising unparalleled efficiency and productivity, whilst also being ensconced in divisive rhetoric.

Through all of the debate around AI’s use, implementation and ethics, however, it’s a fact that as this technology evolves, it will change how, what and why we work. For example, according to research from Forbes Advisor, 56% of businesses are using AI to improve and perfect business operations, 46% are using AI for customer relationship management and 35% are leveraging AI for content production.

Similarweb reports the global AI market size is expected to be worth $407 billion (£321.83 billion) by 2027. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 36.2% from 2022. Precedence Research projects the U.S. AI market size alone to reach around $594 billion (£468 billion) by 2032. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 19% from 2023.

Yet for all this growth and progression, it’s easy to forget that AI will only grow and prosper if our workers know how to utilise it. AI is only as advanced as the knowledge of those actually implementing and applying it.

Only 14% of today’s workforce consider themselves to have ‘advanced’ fluency in AI, and over half (52%) categorised themselves as having ‘basic’ or ‘nascent’ AI fluency, according to research from Amazing Web Services.

So, as AI permeates diverse sectors, the gaping chasm between its potential and the existing skill sets of the workforce becomes increasingly evident. The AI skills gap looms large, presenting both a challenge and an opportunity for organisations to equip their employees with the necessary expertise to thrive in the digital age.

At the heart of this shift lies a fundamental truth - the future belongs to those who embrace AI. Those companies that aren’t currently searching for the opportunities to create an AI-fluent workforce will fall behind. From entry-level positions to the C-suite, professionals across the board are cognizant of the pivotal role AI plays in shaping their careers.

A mere 38% of executives currently prioritise fostering AI literacy among their workforce

A recent report by LinkedIn revealed that a staggering 84% of global workers perceive AI as a catalyst for career advancement. Yet, while employees exhibit a fervent desire to delve deeper into AI, organisational leaders seem to lag behind in providing the requisite tools for learning and development.

Despite the overwhelming demand for AI education, a mere 38% of executives currently prioritise fostering AI literacy among their workforce. This is a critical disconnect between the aspirations of employees and the strategies of their employers.

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