Demand for AI skills triples in UK, report finds
Demand for workers with AI skills has more than tripled in the UK over the last decade, according to a recent report by market analytics Lightcast.
The growth is measured by the number of job listings that require AI skillsets, which has increased from approximately 0.3% in 2012 to around 1% of all UK job adverts in 2021 – and the report shows that demand continued to grow in the first quarter of this year too.
“We’re seeing a rapid growth rate for AI skills in the UK labour market,” said Andy Durman, Lightcast’s executive vice president of global business.
He told edtech publication FE news: “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.”
According to the report, the UK is now positioned just behind the US, Sweden and Canada among the leading pack of nations with the highest demand for skills in AI.
The US has also surged ahead with a recent set of initiatives to increase the presence of AI in healthcare.
The report also notes that AI skills can make workers more prosperous, with jobs postings that include these skills paying an average salary premium of around 20%.
Those who possess AI skills are also more employable Durman added, since “technical AI skills are often highly transferable across a range of industries such as IT, finance, manufacturing and quarrying”.
In terms of the technical skills in question, the report notes that demand for coding skills in Python has increased “substantially”, as has data science and SQL.
However, most tech leaders appear to be using it to expediate processes rather than using it to make high-level business decisions.
Even though tech leaders view AI as key to the survival of their business, 86% admit they would struggle fully trusting it to make decisions without human intervention.
The same survey – from data integration firm Fivetran – also suggested that more than two in five respondents felt there was vast room for improvement in how their organisation used AI.
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