• Labour Market Pulse published by IDA Ireland in collaboration with Microsoft and LinkedIn
  • Data shows that Gen X has the most to gain from using generative AI tools to enhance productivity and undertake value-added work 
  • Technology, Information and Media is the sector with the greatest potential to harness GenAI 
  • Ireland is in a strong position to maximise the potential benefits of generative AI by accelerating the shift to a skills-based labour market.
IDA Ireland, in collaboration with Microsoft and LinkedIn, has today published the latest in its Labour Market Pulse report series which provides insights and trends from the Irish labour market to help inform decision-makers across business, academia and public policy. 

The latest edition of the Labour Market Pulse entitled Unlocking the Future: Ireland’s Prosperity with Generative AI, is focused on how generative AI can unlock the potential of Ireland’s workforce and the AI skills that will be central to enhancing the global competitiveness of Irish businesses. 

Generative AI Enabled Workforce
According to the Labour Market Pulse, generative AI is set to be a catalyst for enhancing workforce productivity and reinventing work. 

Based on data from over two million LinkedIn members in Ireland, the Labour Market Pulse indicates that it is older workers who have the most to gain from generative AI tools. 60% of Gen X (1965-1980) in Ireland have occupations where generative AI can complement or transform the work they do, freeing up their time for more value-added and creative work.

Millennials (1981-1996) were also identified as having a significant opportunity to leverage generative AI, with 56% in jobs where generative AI can complement or transform their role. For Gen Z (1997-2012), this number drops to 52%, with the remaining 48% currently working in roles whose core skills are less able to leverage generative AI.

Sectoral Impact of Generative AI
According to data from LinkedIn, Technology, Information and Media is the sector with the greatest potential to harness generative AI tools and technologies. More than 2 in 3 (72%) of occupations in the sector can use generative AI to transform key responsibilities.

This is followed closely by the Financial Services sector in which generative AI can transform 70% of roles in the sector, and the Professional Services sector, with more than half (63%) of job roles ready to be transformed by the technology. 

Skills Vital to Ireland’s Competitiveness 
Ireland is in a strong position to maximise the potential benefits of generative AI by accelerating the shift to a skills-based labour market. According to a recent joint study by Trinity College Dublin and Microsoft Ireland, 49% of organisations in Ireland are already using generative AI in some form, and Ireland has a strong skills foundation with  the highest level of third level attainment and highest level of STEM graduates per capita in the EU .

Data skills, digital problem solving, and digital communication and collaboration were identified by LinkedIn as some of the core AI skills required by workers across all industries and functions. As generative AI tools are adopted by industry, skillsets required will continue to change.

Upskilling and reskilling among the current and future workforce will be vital to harnessing the opportunities presented by generative AI and to maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness in the era of AI. 

Developing these skills in the workforce will enable businesses in Ireland to apply generative AI to generate new levels of insight, drive efficiencies, increase productivity and improve how people experience work. 

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary TD commented: “AI skills are vital for maintaining and enhancing Ireland’s competitiveness globally. As AI continues to transform the nature of work and revolutionise every sector of our economy, businesses will increasingly rely upon those with the skillsets to harness the potential of generative AI. 

“I welcome this latest Labour Market Pulse published by IDA Ireland, Microsoft and LinkedIn, which spotlights the huge opportunities for both workers and businesses who develop and invest in AI upskilling and reskilling. By taking a collaborative approach across Government and industry in preparing our workforce for the AI transformation, we can ensure our businesses have the skills they need for the future and, in turn, better support our companies to innovate and compete at a global level.” 

Commenting on the Labour Market Pulse, Michael Lohan, CEO of IDA Ireland said: “An AI-enabled workforce is now critical to transforming our enterprise base and supporting future investment to Ireland. The latest Labour Market Pulse, delivered in partnership with Microsoft and LinkedIn, provides important insights into Ireland's readiness to embrace the transformative and ground-breaking power of generative AI. 

“With AI set to transform a wide range of industries and occupations, leaders will need to be proactive in upskilling their workforce to develop the AI skills and knowledge necessary to leverage the technology. By continuing to invest in upskilling opportunities, we can unlock the true potential of Ireland’s workforce and ensure we remain a highly attractive location to do business well into the future.”

Commenting on the Labour Market Pulse, James O’Connor, Microsoft Ireland Site Lead and Vice President of Microsoft Global Operations Service Center, said, “Generative AI is a transformative technology that has significant potential to empower our workforce, enhance productivity and unlock exciting new business opportunities. Findings from the latest Labour Market Pulse point towards the need for Ireland to move to a skills-based labour market.

“As generative AI becomes more prolific in the workplace, it is crucial that industry continues to collaborate with Government and academia to empower the current and future generations with the AI skills and knowledge to take full advantage of the technology. At Microsoft, we’re playing our part to help skill up Ireland for the era of AI by rolling out a national AI skilling programme that aims to provide everyone across Ireland with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills. We believe that by taking an all-of-society approach to digital skilling, we can ensure that everyone can fully harness the AI opportunity and advance our digital economy.”

Head of LinkedIn Ireland Sue Duke added: “The skills that professionals need to thrive in an AI-powered world of work are dramatically changing. We expect to see a 73% change in skills needed in the Irish workforce by 2030, up from a 54% change expected before the rise of generative AI. By policy makers, companies and professionals focusing now on building the right skills in the workforce to adopt and complement generative AI, we have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this transformation and maximise its potential for Ireland’s economy.”

For more information, access the full report here