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AI could boost Australian workers' salaries by 29%
Thu, 21st Mar 2024

New research by Amazon Web Services (AWS) attests that AI capabilities could potentially increase salaries of Australian workers by more than 29%, signifying a fast-paced career growth. AWS suggests that the benefits of harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) could particularly benefit workers in the IT (37%) and business operations sectors (35%) considering the surge of salary increases predicted by the studies. The findings arise from a regional study titled "Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Workforce of Australia for Jobs of the Future" which sampled the responses of nearly 15,000 workers and 5,000 employers across nine countries, with 1,500 workers and 500 organisations exclusive to Australia.

The research further suggests the immense productivity payoff from an AI-skilled workforce in Australia. Organisations presume their productivity will increase by 46% if AI technology is at their disposal to automate repetitive tasks, improve workflows and outcomes, and enhance communication. Notably, workers believe that AI could raise their efficiency by as much as 45%. As AI transforms Australia's economic landscape, almost all employers envision their companies becoming AI-driven organisations by 2028. Despite the belief that IT departments will be the biggest beneficiaries, employers also envisage significant value being derived from AI in sales and marketing, business operations, research and development, finance, human resources, amongst others.

The Head of Economic Strategy at Access Partnership, Fraser Thompson, commented on the important role of AI in Australian society, stating that "society as a whole will benefit from an increased productivity boost, which will translate into higher salaries for skilled workers across the country." He further emphasised the significance of nurturing strong workforces proficient in steering AI advancements considering the increasing dependence on AI tools amongst Australian organisations as well as the continuous evolution of AI-driven innovations.

There is also a growing recognition of generative AI technology, offering the opportunity for new content creation, which is transforming workplaces in Australia already. Expectedly, within the next five years up to 88% of surveyed employers and 84% of workers aim to use generative AI tools in job-related activities. Moreover, the benefits cited include increasing innovation and creativity, automating repetitive tasks, and supporting learning.

However, the research also highlights a skill gap in the Australian AI sector where approximately two out of three employers are struggling to find AI-skilled talent. A large number of employers also admit they lack the know-how to run an AI workforce training program, while most workers in Australia are not aware of the available AI training programs. The results underscore the need for effective collaboration between governmental bodies, industries, and educators to bridge this gap.

Bran Black, Chief Executive of Business Council of Australia, emphasised the need for governments, industry, and the education sector to work collaboratively to prepare the region for the economic opportunities that AI will bring. AWS is committed to supporting this endeavour and since 2017 has trained more than 400,000 people on cloud skills in Australia. With a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney already in place, AWS continues to demonstrate constant dedication to help students and workers build skills in AI and machine learning, hence increasing their employability and earning potential.