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79% of life science professionals see AI enhancing their work, Kelly Services finds

77% of life science professionals in the UK think that part or all of their current role could be automated with that figure increasing to 85% in Ireland whilst 79% of life science professionals in the UK see AI enhancing their work in the future with that figure increasing to 91% in Ireland.  This is according to a Talent in Science study conducted by Kelly amongst 1,400 life science workers across seven countries (UK, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands). 

These figures serve as a message to those employers polled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for its Future of Jobs Report, 2018, global health & healthcare industry where 80% of employers in this sector stated that they did not understand the opportunities that new technologies present. 73% highlighted a skills gap at leadership level to drive technological change and 63% suggesting there were skills gaps at a local level.  

With such an awareness of the perceived shortfall of knowledge, understanding and transformational skills to drive the opportunities presented by AI and other transformational technologies as a backdrop, sentiment from the Kelly Talent in Science survey highlighted that there is an untapped pool of knowledge - and a willingness to embrace change - within the existing life sciences workforce. 

Richard Bradley, MD for the UK and Ireland at Kelly, said, “A positive mindset from employees is half the battle for many organisations and the figures from the UK and Ireland tell us that the life sciences workforce is well prepared for automation and view it positively.  Organisations need to capitalise on the sentiment of their workers and enter into a dialogue with employees to learn how they can best harness the talent they have under their noses. Building an agile workforce will help companies to reduce costs, drive innovation and compete in the global market while attracting the very best talent.

“Our figures fly in the face of those revealed by the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report conducted last year where a high percentage of employers feel ill-prepared for technological change and do not think they have the right staff to embrace any changes; our figures show that the UK and Ireland workforce is ready, willing and able to embrace AI as we journey into the future and employers need to recognise this.”

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