New Zealand employers ready to pay more for employees with AI skills

Willingness comes ahead of expected boost in productivity from artificial intelligence: report

New Zealand employers ready to pay more for employees with AI skills

Employers across New Zealand are willing to pay employees 30% more once artificial intelligence is fully harnessed in the workplace, as they predict an array of productivity benefits from the technology.

This is according to a new report from Amazon Web Services, which surveyed more than 1,600 employees and over 500 employers in New Zealand as part of its regional study Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Workforce in New Zealand for Jobs of the Future.

The report found that the departments that would see the biggest salary gains from AI implementation are IT (41%) as well as research and development (38%).

Productivity gains from AI

It comes as majority of employers expect their productivity to increase by 49% as AI:

  • Automates repetitive tasks (63%)
  • Improves workflow and outcomes (63%)
  • Enhances communication (57%)

In fact, a majority of employers believe that not only will their IT departments enjoy great benefits for AI, they will also see gains for:

  • Sales and marketing (85%)
  • Finance (83%)
  • Research and development (83%)
  • Business operations (83%)
  • Legal (75%)
  • Human resources (72%)

AI skills shortage

Amid these expectations, however, 70% of employers said they can't find the AI talent that they need, according to the report.

Another 79% of employers also said they don't know how to run an AI workforce training programme.

The findings come as 79% of employees across New Zealand express an interest in developing AI skills to further their careers.

This interest is widespread across the workforce, with majority of Gen Zs (78%), Millennials (82%), and Gen X (76%) employees saying they want to acquire AI skills and would enrol in an upskilling course if it was offered.

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