Less than half of UK businesses helping employees become AI-literate, finds LinkedIn

  • Skills needed for jobs globally projected to change by 51% by 2030 (since 2016) – rise of Generative AI to accelerate this change to 68%
  • 7 out of 10 UK hiring managers predict skills gaps will widen in the next five years, underscoring the need for businesses to prioritise skills development
  • UK professionals keen to boost AI literacy – 65% believe AI will help their career progression
  • LinkedIn is rolling out new AI learning courses, career development features and insights to help companies build the skills they need to thrive

London, March 6, 2024: Despite business leaders acknowledging their employees will need new skills to work with AI, less than half (44%) in the UK are helping their workforce become AI-literate, according to new research from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.

With rapid advancements in AI, helping employees develop new skills has become business critical. LinkedIn data finds that the skills needed for jobs globally are projected to change by 51% by 2030 (since 2016), and the rise of Generative AI is expected to accelerate this change to 68%. 7 out of 10 (69%) hiring managers in the UK expect skills gaps to widen in the next five years, underscoring the need for businesses to prioritise skills development if they are to capitalise on the opportunities presented by AI.

Professionals in the UK are also keen to boost their AI literacy – 76% in the UK say they are excited to use AI in their work, and 65% believe it will help their career progression.

Skills development is also crucial to internal mobility and talent retention. Nine out of 10 UK organisations are concerned about employee retention, and half (49%) of hiring managers in the UK predict an increase in employee turnover in 2024.

Internal mobility – the movement of employees to new career opportunities within an organisation – is considered one of the top ways to retain talent, however many companies are finding it difficult to implement. LinkedIn’s research finds that the top three barriers to internal mobility in the UK include a lack of L&D opps to pivot careers (27%), talent hoarding (27%) employees unaware of internal opportunities (25%).


Janine Chamberlin, Vice President and UK Country Manager, LinkedIn said: “Just over a year since Generative AI came to the forefront of public awareness, businesses are starting to invest in upskilling their employees to make the most of the technology. It’s these forward-looking organisations that will have an edge over competitors. 

Companies cannot afford to be slow on upskilling if they are to capture the opportunities presented by AI and succeed in an ever-changing world of work. Upskilling employees on hard and soft skills will not only help companies to become more agile, but also improve retention and make it easier for people to pivot into new careers within the organisation. The businesses that get this right will benefit from having people with the right skills, in the right roles, at the right time.

However, to make this successful, companies will also need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning – signposting internal roles, encouraging employees to consider their next move, and helping them to understand the skills they need to switch into new roles.”


Anandi Shankar, Global Head of Learning, Unilever said: “The world of work is continuously evolving and at an ever faster pace thanks to Gen AI. This means the skills that people need for jobs are changing beyond what traditional learning methods can deliver.

At Unilever, we believe in talent that stays curious and thrives to be fit for the future of work. We do this through democratising access to learning and encouraging our people to shape their own career adventures. This begins with creating personalised future-fit development plans to enable their performance, deepen their experience and connect them to skills and leadership behaviours Unilever needs to continue to win. We also encourage them to leverage the  most of online tools like LinkedIn Learning to develop the skills they need to succeed.”


To help businesses build the skills-based organisation of the future, LinkedIn is helping workforces develop the skills their company needs most:

  • Build critical AI-literacy skills with 250 free LinkedIn Learning courses: LinkedIn is making 250 courses across seven languages free globally until April 5, 2024 to empower employees across industries, roles and levels. No matter if you’re aiming to build general AI-fluency, empower your teams to make AI-powered business investments, or upskill engineers to maintain and train AI models, we have content relevant to your entire organisation.
  • Help employees build the skills for their next role: We’re rolling out Next Role Explorer, a dynamic career path visualisation that recommends potential next roles to employees, based on their current title and career goals. We’re also rolling out enhanced Role Guides to help employees understand the specific skills needed to succeed in a role, and personalised Learning Plans to help each employee track their progress and close the most critical skill gaps to advance their career.
  • Connect employees with internal career opportunities: LinkedIn is connecting its hiring and learning tools to match employees to internal jobs and help them get discovered by internal recruiters and hirers. We’re rolling out new ways for employees to opt in to sharing their interest in open internal roles flag across LinkedIn Jobs and LinkedIn Learning. From LinkedIn Jobs, employees can now receive alerts about new internal roles that open up and express their interest. All of these signals go directly into Recruiter, helping your hiring teams see internal candidates’ interest immediately. And on LinkedIn Learning, employees can now find all internal roles based on their skills.