RMIT research: Most Australians don’t believe gen AI is relevant to them


The research revealed businesses are willing to pay an 8% premium for candidates with data and digital skills.

Almost half of employees have never used generative AI in their role, and 73% say it’s because they don’t believe it’s relevant, highlights a report from RMIT Online in partnership with Deloitte Access Economics.

The data contrasts with research by the Australian Computer Society, which showed 86% of all occupations will be affected by generative AI.

The ‘Ready, Set, Upskill’ report revealed across a range of digital skills, roughly a third – between 29-36% – of employees said they are lacking fundamental digital skills, or their skill level is out of date, while employers identified AI or machine learning as the top digital skill they lacked within their organisation, followed by data science, coding, and cyber security. 

The report showed that the lack of digital skills across the workforce means businesses are willing to pay an 8% (or $5,408) for candidates with data and digital skills. 

Nic Cola, CEO of RMIT Online, said: “Generative AI is unlike any past digital disruption. It will continue to transform the way we learn and work, level the playing field and create new roles and job disruptions.

“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.”

John O’Mahony, partner at Deloitte Access Economics, added: “Generative AI capitalises on aspects where traditional learning and development falls short.”

“Therefore, it will play a critical role in Australia’s skills transition. Employers can use generative AI to create tailored learning and development content for their employees which accelerates their learning speed and retention.”

Previous RMIT research revealed that the five industries facing a ‘short fuse, big bang’ scenario, where generative AI has a fast and significant impact, are: financial services, ICT and media, professional services, education, and wholesale trade. These industries account for 26% of the Australian economy, equivalent to nearly $600 billion in economic activity.

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