Majority of people feel confident in their ability to adapt to era of AI

Following yesterday’s news about the fears CEOs harbour with the advent of AI in the workplace, a new poll from Indeed suggests that nearly 9 in 10 UK workers (89 percent) feel confident in their ability to adapt to change over the next five years. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) feel the skills needed for their role will change in the next five years, with 15 percent expecting significant changes.

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. According to the report, many workers feel “capable” (40 percent), “prepared” (27 percent) and “excited” (25 percent) about how their job may develop. However, perceptions are mixed; a quarter of employees (27 percent) 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 percent) believe more jobs will be lost to AI than created.


Skilled tradespeople will be the most resilient

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 percent of UK respondents, a common theme globally. Workers believe hospitality and food services employees will be the second-most resilient to AI replacements (45 percent), followed by healthcare workers (44 percent). On the other hand, business strategists & analysts (13 percent), data scientists and analysts (13 percent) and customer service representatives (14 percent) 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 percent) and attention to detail (45 percent) 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 percent), critical thinking (42 percent), decision-making (37 percent) and content creation (37 percent) among the top skills where humans outpace technology. Unsurprisingly, emotional intelligence (71 percent) is where workers say humans have the biggest lead over AI.


Workers want support from employers on upskilling 

With the majority of workers anticipating changes to the skills needed to carry out their role, professional development is front of mind. Over half (59 percent) of workers put most of the responsibility on employers to develop these skills. 17 percent put the greatest responsibility on individual employees, while 7 percent believe the onus is on the government.

While it’s encouraging to learn that 59 percent of employees feel their employer is supporting them well through their role’s transition, businesses need to ensure they’re rolling out the right training. Workers say on-the-job training is the most useful way of preparing for changes in their role over the next five years (45 percent). However, online learning (43 percent) has been the most common type of learning and development in the last 12 months, with on-the-job training rolled out by just 39 percent of employers.

Online learning (35 percent), blended learning (29 percent), formal qualifications (22 percent), instructor?led training delivered (20 percent) and career coaching programmes (17 percent) were other types of learning and development that workers perceived to be most useful. Yet, they were not always among the most common methods offered, as only 16 percent of workers received formal qualifications, 15 percent blended learning, 14 percent instructor-led training and just 8 percent received career coaching programmes in the past year.