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Survey: In AI age, upskilling matters to employees

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A majority of employees surveyed expect an increase in hiring for AI-specific roles in their organizations in the next two years.

With artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies becoming more prevalent, employees are seeking more perks related to upskilling from their employers.

According to a new report from talent solutions firm 24 Seven, 90% of employees claim more perks related to upskilling would encourage them to stay with their current employer, while 70% of employees expect an increase in hiring for AI-specific roles in their organizations in the next two years.

A wide majority (84%) of the 2,100 professionals surveyed across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. said their organization is using AI-powered tools. However, more than half (55%) of those surveyed believe employees in their organization only have basic, very limited or no understanding of AI. More than six-in-10 (61%) of respondents said their organization has brought in external consultants or freelancers with specialized AI skills.

When it comes to upskilling and training employees with new technology, 89% of respondents said it is at least “moderately important” within their companies, with the most popular approaches being internal training programs, online courses and external workshops, seminars and conferences.

However, 19% of employees say their organization’s upskilling programs are only slightly effective or not effective at all. According to 24 Seven, the most frequently cited barriers to effective upskilling were lack of time and resources, lack of knowledge about available training, employee resistance and inadequate technology infrastructure.

"The insights from 24 Seven's latest report underscore the need for employers to embrace a flexible, multipronged approach to stay competitive amidst accelerated tech advancement and widespread AI integration," said Anthony Donnarumma, CEO of 24 Seven. "Leaders must recognize the importance of enhancing the skills of their current employees while also leveraging highly adept external talent. Now is a crucial time for organizations to zero in on the AI competencies essential for their success, and to strategize effectively on whether to develop these skills internally, recruit new talent, or seek specialized expertise to augment their teams and accelerate momentum."

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