AI Minister unveils guidance to upskill UK workers

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: AI Minister unveils guidance to upskill UK workers.

The government has announced a new draft of guidance to support businesses to upskill their workers and unleash the potential of Artificial Intelligence to help boost productivity by enhancing workplace activity.

The guidance will help employers develop their employees understanding around AI, offering an understanding around key knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to use the emerging piece of technology safely and this will include advice on how to use key AI tools such as Large Language Models.

There will be a focus on five specific areas and employers, as well as training providers, will support workers in areas such as how to use AI to evaluate the performance of projects, solving workplace problems as well as general admin, accounting and many other day-to-day roles. 

Developed in partnership with the Innovate UK BridgeAI programme and The Alan Turning Institute, the guidance will act as a key tool for businesses to ensure that their employees have the relevant knowledge and skills to harness to power of AI, fuelling the government’s growth agenda. 

Suid Adeyanju, CEO of RiverSafe said: “Upskilling the UK workforce to adapt and embrace AI is a welcome step in the right direction. However, nowhere near enough is being done to prepare companies for the rising tide of AI-enabled cyber threats. This technology has the potential to transform the digital economy, but in the wrong hands could also cause serious harm. Getting businesses and workers cyber-ready to prevent this happening should also be a major priority for the government moving forward.”

Andrew Drylie, Investment Manager, Quadri Ventures said: “Widespread AI adoption will have a seismic impact on the way businesses operate, so it’s right for the government to stay ahead of the curve by encouraging upskilling at the earliest opportunity. It is also vital that workers are given the opportunity to learn and develop their skillset in such a game-changing technology so they can reap the benefits by mastering digital skills for the future.

Tom Dunning, CEO and founder of Ad Signal, said: “The race to embrace AI brings with it huge opportunities but also major challenges. Upskilling workforces should form part of a much wider digital strategy to ensure AI is used ethically, responsibly and with consideration for its environmental impact.

It’s already clear that the huge rise in AI use requires an action plan to reduce its carbon impact. However, many companies in key areas like the entertainment industry have little or no roadmap in place. It’s vital that the government recognises this threat early on, so the UK can develop a clear blueprint to reap the benefits of this technology, responsibly.”

Minister for AI Viscount Camrose, said: “Making sure workers up and down the country have the skills they need for their jobs with and in AI is a key part of our strategy in making the UK an AI powerhouse and ensuring the skills of our workforce keep pace with this rapidly developing technology.”

“This guidance will be vital in helping us realise that ambition, continuing an important conversation with businesses across the UK to make sure the steps they can take are practical, functional, and successful.”

The news follows the Chancellor welcoming Microsoft’s £2.5 billion investment into UK AI over the next three years.

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