The Concerns of Indians Regarding AI’s Impact on Their Employment
In India, the apprehension of artificial intelligence (AI) displacing jobs is a prevalent concern among workers. Recent survey results reveal that Indian employees are notably more worried about AI taking their jobs compared to their counterparts in the US, UK, and Germany.
Key Findings from the Randstad Work Monitor Survey
The Randstad Work Monitor quarterly pulse survey, exclusively available to ET, revealed that at least one in two Indian workers expresses concerns about AI potentially replacing their jobs. In contrast, only one in three workers in economically affluent nations shares these concerns.
Viswanath P.S., the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Randstad India, attributes this heightened anxiety among Indian workers to the nation’s significant adoption of AI and the substantial workforce in the business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sectors, which are particularly susceptible to AI automation.
Factors Contributing to Concern
Viswanath states, “India houses numerous KPOs and BPOs where employees perform various operational tasks that AI has the potential to replace. Moreover, India is among the world’s fastest adopters of AI technology.” These factors amplify the concerns of Indian workers regarding job security.
Viswanath also emphasizes the need for these employees to consider “future-proofing” their careers through continuous learning as they prepare for potential AI-driven disruptions.
AI and Skill Requirements
The third-quarter 2023 issue of the Randstad Work Monitor focuses on AI and the skill requirements for the modern workforce. The survey included 1606 participants from across India, comprising 55% men and 45% women.
A significant seven out of ten respondents expressed their belief that AI will bring about changes in their jobs and industries. More notably, a substantial number of respondents recognized the importance of upskilling, acknowledging that having advanced technological skills will be essential for their job security within the next five years.
Upskilling and AI Training
According to the survey, only 6% of respondents admitted to not receiving any AI training in the past 12 months. This indicates a growing reliance on AI in their current professions.
AI remains the most sought-after area for development for 30% of respondents, followed by IT and technological literacy (28%), management and leadership skills (27%).
Should their employers fail to offer opportunities for learning and growth in the coming year, half of the respondents expressed their intention to leave their current jobs.
The survey also highlighted variations in employee concerns across generations. Compensation and remuneration are more critical to the boomer generation (27%) than to Gen X (26%). In contrast, flexible work options remain the primary concern for the Gen X workforce.
Industries at Risk
The survey pinpointed industries where a more substantial proportion of workers are anxious about the potential impact of AI on their jobs. These industries include the manufacturing of food products, IT services, financial services, and the automotive and aerospace sectors.
The Growing Emphasis on Learning and Growth
The survey underscores the growing significance of learning and professional growth within the talent community. As AI continues to reshape the employment landscape, it is evident that ongoing education and upskilling will be vital for workers to remain competitive and secure in their careers.