From education to employment

Demand for AI Skills Triples in UK Labour Market

Ai, blue, technology

Demand for workers with artificial intelligence skills has tripled in the UK over the past decade, according to a new report by Lightcast, “Artificial Intelligence in the UK: The relevance of AI in the digital transformation of the UK labour market”

This rapid increase in AI skills demand indicates that artificial intelligence will continue its dominant growth in the UK.

“We’re seeing a rapid growth rate for AI skills in the UK labour market,” said Andy Durman, Executive Vice President of Global Business at Lightcast. “Skills demand is often a leading indicator of where industries are headed, and job postings are showing that AI skills will likely continue to become more in-demand in the future.” 

Demand for AI, measured by the share of online job postings requesting AI skills, has grown from approximately 0.3% in 2012 to around 1% of all UK job adverts in 2021, with demand continuing to grow in the first quarter of 2022, according to the report.

This report also highlights how acquiring AI skills can make people more employable, since these skills are often transferable across different industries and occupations. AI skills can also make workers more prosperous, with jobs postings that include these skills paying an average salary premium of around 20%.

“With more companies recruiting workers with AI and tech skills than ever before, job seekers with these kinds of transferable tech skills are going to have the advantage when competing for jobs,” said Andy Durman, Executive Vice President of Global Business at Lightcast.

Key Takeaways

  1. The number of job postings requesting AI skills in the UK has more than tripled over the last decade. The UK is among the nations with the highest demand for AI skills, ranking third after the US and Sweden.
  2. Of the nine English regions, London leads the market for AI skills with 2.2% of all job postings in the capital mentioning them, followed by the areas of Northern Ireland (1.0%), and the South East (0.9%).
  3. Jobs where AI skills are requested in the employer’s job description tend to pay more than the same jobs which don’t mention these skills, with an average salary premium of around 20% across all jobs.

This report and accompanying interactive website provide the exact kind of evidence-based approach the initiative needs to succeed. Visit our interactive AI website here or read the report here.

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