AI in Scotland’s Workplaces: Navigating the Shift

A Surge in AI Adoption

Scotland is witnessing a significant shift towards embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace. Recent research by Hays reveals a notable increase in AI utilisation: from 26% to 32% in just six months. This uptrend is not just among organisations but also individual workers, with 19% now incorporating AI tools into their roles.


Employer Expectations and Future Outlook

Interestingly, 59% of employers anticipate allowing AI usage in the workplace but plan to monitor it closely. On the other hand, a smaller fraction, about 20%, expect to ban AI usage. This divergence in approach reflects the evolving landscape of AI in the professional sphere.


The Scottish State of Play

The research, encompassing feedback from nearly 15,000 employers and professionals, including 886 from Scotland, underscores a growing trend of AI adoption. Despite this, a significant majority of Scottish professionals (80%) have not integrated AI into their current roles.

Justin Black, Business Director at Hays, highlights mixed attitudes towards AI in the workplace. While a modest 21% view AI's impact on their jobs positively, a declining number, now at 6%, see it negatively. Interestingly, some Scottish organisations have already prohibited AI usage.


Challenges and Opportunities

Black points out several hurdles in AI adoption, including GDPR concerns and skepticism about AI reliability. Additionally, the rapid surge in AI demand has outpaced the growth in relevant skills, leading to notable skill shortages. However, there's a silver lining: the extreme skills shortage in AI among employers has decreased from 48% to 36% in the last six months.


The Skills Gap and Employer Role

The study also reveals a decrease in professionals who believe they lack the right skills for AI, dropping from 29% to 26%. However, Black emphasises that employers still need to do more in supporting staff upskilling for effective AI usage. This includes clear communication about AI's role and monitoring in the workplace.

For more insights, visit Hays Technology.