India can become the pioneer in incorporating artificial technology (AI) technology into business if the industry moves ahead with the right upskilling approach, suggests PwC's report titled 'India Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey 2023'.

51% of Indian respondents of this survey believe that AI will increase their productivity at work as compared to 31% of global respondents, provided their organisations support with upskilling opportunities.

"Amidst the rising uncertainty and seismic impact of AI, the workforce is demanding more from their employers on all counts. The workforce is not settling with a competitive compensation only - which continues to be a hygiene - but also a deeper job satisfaction, and faster growth opportunities to fulfil their aspirations," says Anumeha Singh, partner, PwC India.

62% of India employees believe the skills required to do their job will change significantly over the next five years while 69% of them are also aware of how these requirements will change, the report says.

The survey finds that Indian respondents are also around 15% more confident as compared to their global counterparts that their employer will provide them with the necessary tools and opportunities to develop the requisite skill sets.

The report also highlights that the Indian workforce is restless, with 42% of employees indicating that they are likely to change jobs in the next year due to expectations of better pay packages and promotions as compared to 26% globally.

70% of Indian participants as against 35% of their global counterparts, are willing to ask for a promotion, the survey shows. While a significant amount of organisational efforts are focussed on the younger generation, the survey finds that managers and senior executives will also need attention.

"Most Indian leaders are aware of the criticality to transform their workforce for the future success of their businesses. Similarly, as their work and workplace are undergoing significant changes, employees in India are highly aware of the urgency to upskill, it increasingly becoming an important factor in their career decisions," says Kartik Rishi, partner, PwC India.

Rishi, however, adds that organisations continue to adopt a much lesser focus on skills, especially those for the future, in their talent strategies and programmes. "Adopting a forward-looking, skills-first approach, which is integrated in their business processes will be a key factor for leaders in sustaining businesses over the next decade," he says.

India's workforce is more aware of the need for upskilling, according to the report. 62% of India respondents agree that the skills required for their job will change significantly in the next five years as compared to 36% global respondents. Also, 69% of them are aware of how the requirements will change. The urgency to upskill is also reflected in the fact that 53% of India employees underline new skill development as a reason for picking up a secondary job compared to 36% of their global counterparts, the survey finds.

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