Employees in Australia not equipped to handle new AI technology

A new study has shown that organisations in Australia are not ready to handle the disruption Gen AI will enact on the workforce.
By: | March 22, 2024

More than three out of four employers in Australia have either not provided, or are unaware of, Generative AI (Gen AI) training in their organisation.

This is a summary of research from a new report from RMIT Online in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics, which reveals that employees in Australia may not understand the full extent of how Gen AI is likely to disrupt their job roles. The report, titled Ready, Set, Upskill, highlights that almost half (47%) of employees surveyed have never used Gen AI in their role, with a majority (73%) of employees saying that this was due to their belief in the lack of relevance in Gen AI.

Across a range of digital skills, roughly a third (between 29-36%) of employees said they have not acquired foundational digital skills or have not updated or trained in these skills recently. Employers have also identified AI or machine learning as the top digital skills they lacked within their organisation, followed by data science, coding and cyber security.  

The crucial lack of digital skills across the workforce means businesses are willing to pay an 8% premium (around AU$5,408 or US$3,582.85) for candidates with data and digital skills.  

Gen AI, unlike past digital disruption, will continue to transform the way people learn and work, level the playing field and create new roles and job disruptions, cautioned Nic Cola, CEO of RMIT Online.

“The digital skills gap Australia is experiencing has been further exacerbated by the emergence of critical technologies such as AI and we must not be complacent in our attitudes to reskilling and upskilling if we are to keep pace with our international counterparts,” he continued.

READ MORE: More job opportunities that specialise in Gen AI learning to emerge

The continued increase in demand for digital skills and the urgency to remedy digital skills gaps reflect the seismic digital transition across the Australian economy.