AI will actually create more jobs, say employers

More than half of Britain’s businesses believe artificial intelligence will actually create more roles, putting them at odds with doomsayers predicting a widespread jobs bloodbath

More than half of British employers expect artificial intelligence (AI) to actually boost employment over the next two years.

And more than two thirds of Britain’s businesses expect AI tools and technologies, including ChatGPT, machine learning and virtual reality – to help existing employees gain new skills or retrain.

IT recruiter Experis surveyed more than 2,000 British employees about their attitudes towards artificial intelligence, with 67 per cent saying that the tech will help keep staff more engaged and 60 per cent saying it will help with onboarding.

UK tech investment sees fall of 57 per centAtomico research reveals that UK tech companies raised $7.4bn (£5.9bn) during the first half of 2023, in the sharpest investment decline across Europe

Such upbeat findings are at odds with the wave of doom and despair that has engulfed the airwaves and newspapers in recent days, with Goldman Sachs predicting that 300 million jobs will be lost globally because of AI.

Telecoms incumbent BT announced last month it was cutting 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, with AI and other tech replacing some 10,000 workers largely in its customer service division.

Rahul Kumar, director at Experis, said: “These findings suggest the mood amongst employers is largely at odds with wider concerns for AI having negative impact on future jobs. It seems that many businesses are in fact feeling optimistic about AI and its potential to be used for effective recruitment and retention.”

UK can increase tech GDP by £50bn a year with Government supportA business group addressed a shortage in skills and investment in a sector that contributes £150bn a year to the UK economy

Indeed, in the IT sector, eight in ten employers (81 per cent) are having difficulty in filling open roles.

More than half of IT employers in the UK want to hire staff, with just 12 per cent expecting to make workers redundant.

Cybersecurity expertise is the most pressing need, followed by user experience and general technical support.

However, Britain will have to fight hard to recruit tech talent: Australia, the US and India all report much more pressing needs to recruit technology staff.

Further reading

UK tech could be worth $4 trillion within decade — Tech Nation research says that UK tech companies will be worth $2.6tn if they keep on current trajectory, but could hit $4 trillion with Government and investor support.

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Tim Adler

Tim Adler is group editor of Small Business, Growth Business and Information Age. He is a former commissioning editor at the Daily Telegraph, who has written for the Financial Times, The Times and the...