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UK bosses believe a lack of skilled workers will be one of the biggest challenges with implementing AI in their organisation

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  • 80% of UK businesses banking on AI for business growth in next three years     
  • Yet one in three (34%) UK companies lack employees able to work with AI     
  • 67% of employers now want job candidates with AI skills    

New data from Coursera reveals that 1 in 3 (34%) UK businesses believe a lack of skilled workers is one of the biggest challenges with implementing AI in their organisation. 

The new survey of 1,000 UK business leaders shows that employers are now prioritising AI skills when making new hires. 67% of UK bosses say it is now ‘important’ for job candidates to have AI skills and 83% of UK business decision makers believe AI will change the skills their company requires.

Half of businesses (50%) plan to upskill or retrain employees as Generative AI technology becomes more prevalent.

Despite skills gaps, the majority (80%) of UK businesses claim that Generative AI (eg. ChatGPT) is being used in business operations and by their employees, with nearly half (43%) using it extensively. 

The main driver of AI’s use is business growth. 66% of business leaders believe that in the next three years, Generative AI will reshape their customer offering or business operations and 84% believe it will be important for business growth. 

AI is clearly adding value to businesses with its ability to automate tasks and reduce time spent by humans. However, business leaders’ top three concerns about AI are dependence on technology (40%), data privacy and security concerns (38%), and job displacement (33%). 

Hadi Moussa, Managing Director for EMEA at one of the world’s largest online learning platforms, Coursera, said:

“It’s incredibly encouraging to see UK businesses already embracing AI to enhance their business operations. UK leaders see the potential for AI to support growth and they are leading the charge to take advantage of this opportunity.

“While there are valid concerns about AI displacing jobs, our findings show that UK business leaders are actively seeking candidates with the skills to handle AI and unlock its potential within companies.

“For jobseekers and entry-level candidates in particular, this presents a great opportunity to enhance their CV with highly relevant skills for the changing world of work. At Coursera we’re already seeing an increase in people exploring online courses around AI such as machine learning and neural networks.”

UK businesses have a clear need for those with AI skills to manage the use of AI and to continue innovating. To address this, Coursera recently announced new courses and a growing catalogue of Generative AI content to help learners build skills of the future.

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