February 22, 2024
Corporate

84% of UAE employees aim to develop their digital skills during their careers

UAE-based workforce favours AI use in the workplace

An overwhelming 84% of UAE-based employees are excited about developing digital skills throughout their careers, while 81% believe businesses should promote the development of AI skills in the workplace, even as 53% find it challenging to incorporate digital skills into their work schedule.

These and other telling statistics constitute a UAE focus study newly released by ServiceNow, the Santa Clara, California-headquartered cloud-based solutions provider that helps companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations.

500 respondents

Titled ‘Preparing UAE employees for an AI-powered future’, ServiceNow commissioned Opinium, a London, UK-based strategic insight agency, to survey 500 working adults (18+) across the UAE encompassing their current skills, their impressions regarding new and emerging technologies and ultimately, their perceptions of the future of work. The study was conducted between October 3-9, 2023.

In addition, as per the research findings, 79% of UAE employees confer that digital skills provide a vital edge in business, with 54% of them reporting that they do not have the technical abilities required to work alongside AI systems yet, even as 54% of the respondents believe that their education did not prepare them for the current and future workforce.

In terms of AI playing a significant role in today’s UAE-based workforce, 95% of the respondents are of the view that they already use or plan to use AI to draft emails or social media posts, followed by 93% using or planning to use AI to generate business ideas and for brainstorming, and 92% resorting to AI to create Excel formulae.

Gap in skills

The UAE employees who were surveyed also acknowledge there is a gap between skills taught in schools versus what is required in the workplace, with 72% wishing they had a better understanding and skillset to use today’s technologies, 54% reporting their formal education did not prepare them for working life, and 54% acknowledging that they lack the technical ability to work alongside AI systems.

Employees
Mark Ackerman: ‘Employees need re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities.’ Image: ServiceNow

On the view that AI and coding should be taught in schools to prepare the next generation, 72% of the polled UAE employees state there should be a standard digital skills qualification that employers recognise.

Mark Ackerman, Area Vice President (Middle East & Africa) at ServiceNow, said: “Employees in the UAE welcome more digital technologies in the workplace, and organisations need to be thoughtful when making these investments.

“Organisations also have to commit to providing their employees with not just a career path, but also with the re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities and training programmes that will enable them to be their best selves and be valuable contributors to the company and broader community,” Ackerman added.

The ‘Preparing UAE employees for an AI-powered future’ survey formed part of a broader study that polled 5,500 working adults in the UAE, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Featured image: 79% of UAE employees confer that digital skills provide a vital edge in business. Image: Campaign Creators

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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