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AI to amplify skills demand, say energy professionals

13 Feb 2024

Airswift’s global energy talent index found that almost half of the 12,000 energy workers surveyed think AI will boost salaries.

According to a global survey of 12,000 energy professionals, the majority (95pc) believe that AI will drive increased demand for human skills. The survey was carried out by Airswift to inform the 2024 edition of its Global Energy Talent Index (GETI).

This is the eighth edition of the index, which seeks to break down the latest employment trends in the energy sector. The survey found that most energy professionals don’t believe AI will replace their human skills; instead, they say that the technology will create opportunities for people with soft skills – such as problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity, as well as technical skills – such as programming and software engineering.

“AI is increasing the demand for skills in the energy industry in everything from data security to software engineering,” said Janette Marx, CEO of Airswift. The company provides workforce management tech to clients in the engineering and IT fields.

“Meanwhile automating repetitive, logical tasks is unlocking the opportunity for greater use of human skills such as critical thinking and creativity while freeing up time for professionals to develop these skills. Energy professionals that learn these newly in-demand skills will have more career choices in the future.”

As much as 92pc of professionals believe AI will prompt them to acquire these new, in-demand skills that Marx mentioned.

As well as creating opportunities, many of those (46pc) surveyed by Airswift said they believe the adoption of AI will lead to increased salaries across the sector.

As it stands, 38pc of energy professionals are already using AI or will begin to do so within six months. Most respondents (74pc) believe automation will boost their productivity, while 60pc say it will improve career prospects and job satisfaction. More than half (54pc) believe it will even improve work-life balance by freeing up more time for family and friends.

The picture is not completely positive. The opportunities these professionals expect AI to bring may not materialise if employees remain unclear on AI policy and if their employers are reluctant to invest in the tech. One-third of respondents identified lack of training leading to misuse as a potential issue.

Employees reported that the lack of clarity on which tools are the best fit for the company and insufficient investment in AI are the biggest barriers to making greater use of AI. Marx warned that, “Energy companies need to future-proof their skills base by transforming training to align with emerging AI skills gaps, while also recruiting talent from outside industries such as technology.”

Recently, we reported on the World Economic Forum’s predictions that sustainability and tech jobs will become major areas of focus for the future, with AI being part of that. The organisation estimated that AI and machine learning jobs will grow by 40pc by 2027.

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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