AI skills set to boost productivity and wages in New Zealand

Employees in New Zealand will be expected to use AI in their workplace, yet organisations are unable to hire employees with the required skillsets.
By: | April 19, 2024

The applications of Generative AI (Gen AI) and the knowledge to make use of its functions could increase the overall productivity of New Zealand’s employees, with much bigger salaries to match.

That is the conclusion reached by Access Partnership, which recently released a report commissioned by AWS. Titled Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Workforce in New Zealand for Jobs of the Future, the report indicates that 90% of organisations and their employees will be expected to be using Gen AI tools within the next five years. The report saw more than 500 organisations and nearly 1,700 employees surveyed for the report, with the results showing widespread enthusiasm for using AI in the workplace.

“It actually is going to be one of these really sort of widespread technologies that underpins everything that we do in the workplace,” Fraser Thompson, Economist, Access Partnership, said. He indicated that AI was expected to be used by 92% of the workforce, including tech and non-tech employees, representing all age groups, including boomers.

This means that the current workforce needs to be trained in Gen AI, with few job losses, but with new job categories to be created.

The overall concern, however, stems from the survey’s results showing that 63% of organisations in New Zealand were seeking to employ people with AI skills. Still, few were unable to find the right kind of talent they needed, with 70% of survey employees indicating that they were struggling to find the right kind of talent, and 79% of the respondents unsure about how to train their current workforce to use AI.

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“There are some real practical blockers and we need to really figure out from a policy and society standpoint, how do we get the right kind of AI talent we need,” Thompson said.