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London Workers Most Anxious About AI Impact on Jobs

London workers worry about AI
© Studio Republic

A new report reveals Londoners are the most concerned in the UK about how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect their jobs. The Robert Half Jobs Confidence Index (JCI) found nearly half (49%) of London workers fear AI will directly impact their careers within the next year. This is significantly higher than the national average of 31%.

This apprehension extends to the long term as well. Almost two-thirds (61%) of London employees worry about AI’s impact in the next three to five years, again exceeding the national average (41%).

These concerns come amid a recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimating up to eight million UK jobs could be lost to AI advancements.

Londoners Proactive in the Face of Change

The JCI data also shows London workers are taking action. Faced with this uncertainty, a significant portion (60%) plan to invest in AI-related training within the next five years. This puts them second only to Wales (62%) nationally.

Furthermore, over half (56%) of Londoners expect their employers to cover the cost of this AI training. Additionally, a significant number (54%) plan to retrain and transition into AI-related fields. This puts London second behind Wales (59%) and well above the national average (40%).

AI Talent Gap Requires Collaborative Solution

Experts believe London’s heavy concentration of professional and financial services jobs makes them more susceptible to AI disruption. Chris Lawton, Vice President Permanent Placements UK & Ireland at Robert Half, emphasised the importance of businesses taking a proactive approach.

Lawton suggests companies should “talent map” their workforce to identify skill gaps and develop plans to address them. This could involve internal upskilling programmes, bringing in temporary AI specialists, or collaborating with external organisations to find diverse talent with the necessary skills.

Lawton stresses the urgency for both employers and employees to adapt. He highlights the need for lifelong learning as AI transforms the job market. He concludes by calling for collaboration between businesses, educational institutions, and policymakers to ensure everyone has access to the training needed to thrive in the AI-powered future.