Five Year Switch

63 per cent of British Workers Feel Skills Needed for Role will Change

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Brits feel the skills needed for their role will change in the next five years, with 15 per cent expecting significant changes, according to data from global hiring and matching platform, Indeed.

Indeed’s Future of Work Report – which surveyed over 16,000 working people including over 2,250 from the UK – uncovered how employees feel about the changing world of work. Against a backdrop of increased adoption of technology and automation, the majority (34 per cent) feel AI will have a positive impact on their role and nearly 9 in 10 (89 per cent) feel confident to adapt to the changes coming over the next five years.

In fact, many workers feel “capable” (40 per cent), “prepared” (27 per cent) and “excited” (25 per cent) about how their job may develop. However, perceptions are mixed; a quarter of employees (27 per cent) feel “cautious” and one in four don’t feel prepared to adapt to changes in the workplace. And greater concerns remain; nearly three in five (58 per cent) believe more jobs will be lost to AI than created.

While AI will undoubtedly impact jobs, workers believe some industries will be more resilient than others. Skilled tradespeople are the group least likely to be replaced by the technology, according to 58 per cent of UK respondents, a common theme globally. Workers believe hospitality and food services employees will be the second-most resilient to AI replacements (45 per cent), followed by healthcare workers (44 per cent). On the other hand, business strategists & analysts (13 per cent), data scientists and analysts (13 per cent) and customer service representatives (14 per cent) are the roles least likely to be unaffected by AI, according to respondents.

Workers also believe that certain tasks are ripe for automation – with three in five saying that AI can carry out data analysis better than humans. Routine tasks (48 per cent) and attention to detail (45 per cent) were other tasks where workers felt AI had the upper hand.

While repetitive tasks are well-suited for AI, workers say humans will outperform automation when it comes to creativity and critical thinking. Humans scored higher than AI in the majority of areas, with customer service (56 per cent), critical thinking (42 per cent), decision-making (37 per cent) and content creation (37 per cent) among the top skills where humans outpace technology. Unsurprisingly, emotional intelligence (71 per cent) is where workers say humans have the biggest lead over AI.

Danny Stacy, UK Head of Talent Intelligence at Indeed, said: “It’s natural for workers to feel that AI will change their role, particularly as we’re yet to fully realise AI’s impact on the workplace. But UK employees are confident they can adapt and are generally more optimistic about the effects of technology on their jobs than they are sceptical, showing that they’re up for any change that comes their way.

“Employers must continue to ensure that their workforce is ready to deal with this shift, which can be done with training and upskilling, especially on technical aspects of job roles and through learning on how to work alongside automation. Businesses must understand and implement the learning methods most valued by employees, as there is some misalignment in what workers are receiving and what they feel is useful. Alongside training, employers must also ensure employees feel valued for their skills which cannot be carried out by technology, such as creativity and decision-making. This approach will help to create an environment where workers can feel excited by changes in their jobs and not uncomfortable.”

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