AI skills could boost Hong Kong workers’ salaries by up to 28% and accelerate career growth as AI adoption ramps up, new research finds

Hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority for 70% of Hong Kong employers but 73% of them struggle to find the AI talent they need, highlighting a looming AI skills gap in the city

HONG KONG SAR –
Media OutReach Newswire – 20 May 2024 –
Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, today released new research showing that when artificial intelligence (AI) is fully harnessed, Hong Kong workers with AI skills and expertise could see salary hikes up to 28%, with workers in information technology (28%), and research and development (27%) enjoying the highest pay bumps, followed by sales and marketing (25%).

To better understand emerging AI usage trends and skill needs in Hong Kong workplaces, AWS commissioned Access Partnership to conduct a regional study, titled
“Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Hong Kong Workforce for Jobs of the Future.” Over 1,600 employees and 500 organizations in Hong Kong were surveyed.

On top of significant salary bumps, the research also found that the productivity payoff from AI could be immense for Hong Kong. Surveyed employers believe that AI can boost their organizations’ productivity by 40%, while workers believe AI could raise their efficiency by as much as 47%. Both employers and workers expect to see the same top three productivity benefits from using AI: improving workflow and outcomes (72% & 62%), automating repetitive tasks (66% & 60%), and supporting learning (53% & 50%).

The research also found that employers are also placing greater emphasis on soft skills for employees to possess by 2028. The survey results show that employers find soft skills like critical thinking (56%) and creative thinking (52%) more important than technical skills like coding (51%).

Hong Kong organizations go all-in on AI, with the financial services sector being the most optimistic

The speed of AI transformation in Hong Kong is remarkable. A total of 84% of employers surveyed used AI-powered tools across their organization in 2023, and this will increase to 94% of all organizations by 2028. While most employers believe their IT department (90%) will be the biggest beneficiary, they also foresee research and development (85%), and the business operations department (85%) driving significant value from AI.

Generative AI—a type of AI that can create new content and ideas quickly, including conversations, stories, images, videos, music, and more—has captured the attention of the general public in the past year, and this technology is already transforming workplaces in Hong Kong. The research found that 94% of surveyed employers and 91% of surveyed workers expect to use generative AI tools on the job within the next five years, with 62% of employers highlighting automating repetitive tasks as the top benefit, followed by increasing innovation and creativity (60%) and improving outcomes (56%).

“The rise of generative AI presents an unparalleled opportunity for Hong Kong businesses to drive innovation, enhance productivity, and stay ahead of the curve. However, nurturing an AI-skilled workforce is essential to unlocking the full potential of these technologies. At AWS, we are committed to empowering organizations of all sizes and individuals in Hong Kong with the training, tools, and resources needed to upskill themselves and prepare them for the AI-powered future,” said Robert Wang, Managing Director, Hong Kong and Taiwan, AWS.

Delving into key industries in Hong Kong, the research shows workers in the financial services sector (71%), which remains one of the city’s most important economic pillars and accounts for around one-fourth of the city’s GDP, are the most positive about the impact of AI on their careers and organizations, compared to the manufacturing (69%), ICT (65%), and wholesale and retail trade sectors (57%). A total of 91% financial service respondents use AI tools today, and 94% expect to by 2028. Workers in the sector are well-positioned to reap the benefits of AI, with 81% saying they are “intermediate” or “advanced” in AI fluency.

Bridging Hong Kong’s AI skills gap is mission-critical

A total of 80% of Hong Kong workers indicated an interest in developing AI skills to accelerate their careers, and this interest transcends generations and genders. While around seven in ten Gen-Z (71%), Millennials (73%), and Gen-X (70%) workers want to acquire AI skills, close to half (48%) of baby boomers—a demographic usually contemplating retirement—say they would enroll in an AI upskilling course if it was offered. Meanwhile, male (81%) and female (79%) employees indicated interest in advancing their careers by learning AI skills.

However, the research also reveals a looming AI skills gap that must be bridged to ensure the city is well-positioned to unlock the full productivity benefits of AI. Hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority for 70% of employers in Hong Kong, of which 73% find it challenging to find the AI talent they need. Of the surveyed employers, 76% said they lack the knowledge to implement an AI workforce training program. They also lack the financial resources to provide employees with AI training (70%), and time for employees to pursue AI training outside of core work responsibilities (69%). In addition, 65% of employees cited a lack of knowledge of the AI skills training programs available as a top barrier.

Accelerating digital skills training in Hong Kong

AWS has trained over 100,000 individuals in Hong Kong on cloud skills since 2014. But with the rapid adoption of cloud-enabled technologies like AI, more needs to be done to upskill the workforce at scale so organizations can innovate and grow in an AI-dominated future.

In November 2023, AWS launched its “AI Ready” talent development program providing free AI skills trainings to equip people with essential AI skills for thriving in the digital economy. “AI Ready” is now available in Hong Kong.

The “AI Ready” program provides a comprehensive training to help learners understanding how Generative AI is transforming our working model. It covers topics including prompt engineering, model training and deployment, building Generative AI flow, deep dive on storage & compute services, and more. It also offers usage demos of AWS services such as Amazon Bedrock, Amazon Q Business, and Amazon Q Developers. Its new generative AI courses cater to diverse learners, featuring advanced offerings for tech-savvy individuals and foundational courses for executives in non-technical roles. Participants of the program will have access to a wide range of resources supported by AWS, including online courses, hands-on labs, generative AI application demos, and cross-community competitions. For more information, please visit
https://pages.awscloud.com/hk-aws-generative-ai-learning-program.

Download the report
here for more information about our “Accelerating AI Skills: Preparing the Hong Kong Workforce for Jobs of the Future” research.

Hashtag: #AmazonWebServices #AWS

The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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