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The UK’s Workforce Lacks Readiness for AI Even doesn’t Have Basic Digital Skills

TL;DR

  • A recent study shows that the UK’s workforce is not ready to adopt AI.
  • Nearly half of the workforce lacks basic digital skills, which are considered essential for day-to-day life.
  • Government intervention is suggested to train and retain job roles by training people.

Around 8 million people in the UK are at risk of AI for their jobs. A recent report from IPPR revealed that their estimates are on the conservative side and mentioned that the actual risk is much higher than the quoted figure as the population lacks the readiness for AI. According to the charitable organization, more than 50% of the UK workforce doesn’t have the essential digital skills that are laid down by the government and industry. The lack of skill is prevalent in all industries and at all levels of jobs.

Source: lloydsbank.

The UK lacks readiness for AI

A larger proportion of the UK workforce, which amounts to 54%, cannot perform tasks that are considered most essential. This gives an idea of the scale of the digital skills gap. 

According to IPPR, in the first wave of AI, 11% of the 22,000 tasks covering any type of job in the UK’s economic ecosystem have already been exposed to AI. And the number is expected to increase to 59% in the second wave, which will affect higher-paying jobs. Senior economist at IPPR, Carsten Jung, says,

“Already existing generative AI could lead to big labor market disruption or it could hugely boost economic growth, either way it is set to be a game changer for millions of us. Many firms are already investing in it, and it has potential to speed up many more tasks as more businesses adopt it.”

Source: IPPR.

Speaking of the first wave, millions of workers are expected to be left behind who are struggling to acquire the digital basics, considering the extreme changes that will take shape with AI in workplaces. Here, we are not talking about the advanced skills gap, but the very basic ones that hundreds of thousands of UK workers don’t have, like coordinating online, updating online settings, and accessing digital pay slips. 

Who will be more affected?

The report says that part time jobs and especially entry level ones, are categorized as high risk as they fall under the first wave list, and they include administrative and customer service roles. These jobs are usually held by women, which will also make them more affected, and people working on low and medium wages are also going to be affected as they may be replaced by AI, as are younger people, because companies will prefer introducing technologies instead of hiring people for entry-level jobs. IPPR’s senior research fellow, Bhargav Srinivasa, said,

“We could see jobs such as copywriters, graphic designers, and personal assistants roles being heavily affected by AI. The question is how we can steer technological change in a way that allows for novel job opportunities, increased productivity, and economic benefits for all.”

Source: IPPR.
Source: lloydsbank.

Srinivasa also suggests that all workers must benefit from the latest technologies, and it should not be limited to big corporations. Jung also emphasized that in the next five years, AI may transform knowledge work also. He raised the crucial question that it is more important to know how employers will use AI and at what speed, rather than whether it is useful or not. 

It can also be expected that the deployment of AI could release labor to work in other sectors that are unaddressed, for example, social needs like mental health services and social care. 

The report suggests that how AI will affect the labor market has no specific path. And suggest that the economic gains should not be limited to a few but must be extensively common. If the companies are left to deploy their AI systems without any government action, it may bring the country to the worst-case scenario of all jobs at risk with no GDP gains.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Aamir Sheikh

Amir is a media, marketing and content professional working in the digital industry. A veteran in content production Amir is now an enthusiastic cryptocurrency proponent, analyst and writer.

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