Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Britain to embrace artificial intelligence in the workplace

New research by job board Jobsite shows that despite media reports of AI impacting jobs, the UK is optimistic about the potential of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

  • Jobsite findings show that 76% of workers are not uneasy about automation in the workplace
  • Over half of employers see automation as an opportunity not a threat

A recent survey of over 4000 Jobsite users showed overwhelmingly positive attitudes to automation with 54% believing advances will actually enhance their existing jobs, compared with only 33% who fear jobs to be at risk.

Respondents believe AI could enhance their work by helping them perform tasks quicker (63%) and allowing them to focus on more meaningful work (55%). Of the tasks expected to be assisted by automation, customer billing (52%), cybersecurity (49%) and administration (46%) came out on top.

Whilst some surveyed showed concern for negative implications such as their skills becoming obsolete (37%), two thirds of respondents were already taking practical steps to pursue education in this area to improve their prospects.

According to results, industries expected to be most affected by automation are manufacturing and banking. Meanwhile in sectors requiring a more hands-on, human approach such as social care and management, the risk appears to be low.

Employers were also surveyed and showed to be more positive still with only 20% believing jobs to be at risk, with support or administrative roles thought to be most likely to suffer. Of those already automating tasks (67%) it is claimed benefits include serving clients better (49%) and freeing up time for better work (67%).

Jobsite CEO Nick Gold said- “The age of automation is fast approaching and, although we’re beginning to hear stories of this impacting jobs overseas, it appears Britain believes that AI is friend not foe. 

This technology is a powerful tool to create efficiencies but, like other technologies have done before, new opportunities and jobs will be created in its wake. Jobsite have already seen a 30% increase in AI related jobs 2015 to 2016, and this is a trend we’re confident will continue. However, with 40% of employers unsure the candidate pool can meet this demand, it’s up to the recruitment industry to help advise job seekers how to equip themselves for the future. 

Reassuringly, our findings mirror what we’re seeing on our website; with vacancy numbers steadily rising, both businesses and candidates have nothing to fear from the rise in automation.  Whether you’re a fan or a critic, one thing is clear – automation is here to stay and is only going to become more accessible. It’s great to see recruiters are seeing this as an opportunity to deliver a better experience for businesses and candidates.”

Download the full report here -