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How to stay ahead of the curve in the AI world

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Jina Melnyk, Managing Director at Corndel, highlights the rising importance of AI and machine learning skills in today's workplaces. With roles like AI engineers and cybersecurity specialists in high demand, it's crucial for employees to receive training in these areas.

Jina Melnyk is Managing Director of Custom Solutions at Corndel.

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An experienced MD, CFO and senior leadership executive, Jina has a passion in developing other executives to be their best selves, challenging them to do the unexpected, and building their confidence. Jina and her team have a track record in equipping leaders with the capabilities and skills necessary to meet organisational objectives in today’s challenging times. In doing so, leaders transform themselves, others and the business. 

It’s less than two years since ChatGPT was first released and we’re now seeing a huge number of organisations embracing AI and machine learning tech like generative language tools in their workplaces. 

We’re currently experiencing a transformation in the way we work, and this shift is demanding new skills and creating new roles. In our recent Workplace Training Report 2024, which surveyed 250 HR leaders in medium to large organisations in the UK, we found that AI and machine learning engineers are the most in-demand technical roles for 2024, with organisations polled looking to recruit for these roles, followed by cybersecurity specialists (60%), data scientists (59%), business analysts (56%), and software engineers (56%).  

The study also found that one in two HR leaders (48%) say their organisation is fully prepared to start integrating AI into their workplace in the next 12 months, and a further 11 percent has already started to integrate AI technology into their business. 

But are you receiving the training you need to harness these new AI tools and technologies to drive better business performance and to help you thrive in your role?

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Upskilling in the fundamentals of AI

Organisations have a responsibility to ensure their people have the skills to harness and manage these new tools. Currently, nearly half (43%) of UK staff haven’t been provided workplace training for any digital tools or new technologies in the past year. Our research also found that only one in ten (9%) employees said they had received training on AI and machine learning tools. With tools like ChatGPT being so new, this suggests that teams aren’t being provided with training in new tech as it’s introduced to the workplace. 

The future-facing organisations who are introducing AI and data tools into their workstreams now have to ensure their people, across all departments, in all roles and at all levels, are equipped with the fundamental AI, machine learning and data skills needed to successfully take advantage of the efficiencies, performance and growth opportunities that these tools present. Investing in workplace training and embedding a culture of continuous learning around AI and data skills will be crucial for the success of the teams and individuals who are tasked with using and managing these new tools and technologies.

At Corndel, we believe that in today’s fast-evolving workplaces all employees, at all levels, should have access to training in foundational knowledge of AI and its applications, as well as opportunities to learn about the ethics around utilising AI and related technologies. 

We’ve developed our new ‘Fundamentals of AI’ training modules that we are now including as a core element in all of our apprenticeship and professional learning and development programmes, whether learners are studying for a data, digital and technology qualification or management and leadership apprenticeships.  

With solid foundational skills in AI and data, teams, managers and leaders can make better decisions, take advantage of new opportunities, and safeguard against the risks associated with the roll-out of AI tools in the workplace, such as data security and cyber security

New skills and new opportunities

We’re only just beginning to discover what tasks, processes and challenges AI is capable of helping us with. By upskilling in fundamental AI skills, you can future-proof your career and set yourself up for success, whether it’s better utilising AI tools like ChatGPT and Copilot in your current position, or to expand your skill set to progress into a new role as AI, machine learning and data  technology continues to create new roles. 

If your organisation isn’t already implementing workplace training programmes in AI and machine learning tools and technologies, do be proactive and contact your HR or Learning and Development teams to explore what opportunities there are for training in these critical new skills. 

If you’re not sure how to go about requesting AI-related training, I recommend building a business case for your training: outline how training would benefit your performance in your role and how it would also benefit your team and the wider organisation. Upskilling teams is a win-win for businesses and employees alike.

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