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Lack of Career Progression, Upskilling and Flexibility in the Workplace Putting Australian Businesses Behind the Rest of the World, New Report Shows

Kelly Services, Inc. 3 mins read

SYDNEY, June 13, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A lack of career progression, upskilling opportunities and flexible work options are making it difficult for local businesses to retain staff as Australia lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to using AI in the workplace, according to a global survey by specialty talent solutions provider Kelly.

The fourth annual global workforce report from Kelly, titled Building a Resilient Workforce in the Age of AI, has revealed Australian businesses have the lowest capability and resilience score out of 13 countries surveyed.

One in two Australian executives (49%) find it difficult to source and retain the right talent, resulting in missed business opportunities, while only 43% believe AI will be critical to strengthening the capability of their workforce, the lowest percentage in the 13 countries surveyed.

“These findings are eye opening,” Pete Hamilton, vice president and managing director, APAC, at KellyOCG, said. “Australian businesses are least likely to use AI to measure productivity, efficiency and engagement when compared to businesses globally, and a third have no plans to do so.”

“Australian businesses need to develop long-term workforce strategies that focus on career development, meaningful employee engagement, and thoughtful implementation of AI tools that combine the best of human talent and technology,” said Mr. Hamilton.

A third of Australian executives believe the Return to Office (RTO) has had a negative impact on workplace culture (32% vs 18% globally), and still plan to offer greater flexibility.

Despite the ongoing skills shortage Australian workers say their top frustrations are a lack of skills development opportunities (32%) and lack of a career progression (32%). Australians are also most likely to say their organisations have poor leadership skills (25% vs. 19%). The report also found that diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are failing, with underrepresented workers quitting as a result.

Australia is ranked last in the Workforce Resilience Index, which reveals how best-in-class businesses are building agile, capable, and inclusive teams that thrive in the age of AI. The Index identifies a group of Resilience Leaders (7% of companies surveyed) who report better results across both core business metrics and key people indicators compared to Mid-Market Performers (85%) and Laggards (8%).

About the Survey
Kelly surveyed 1,500 senior executives, including C-suite leaders, board members, department heads, directors, and managers, as well as 4,000 workers at all levels across 13 countries and eight industry sectors in Q2 of 2024. The 13 countries include the United States, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Singapore. The eight industry sectors include Consumer Retail, Education, Energy, Engineering, Financial Services, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, and Technology. 35% of respondents were from organizations with 10,000+ employees; 35% were from organizations with 5,001-10,000 employees; and 30% were from organizations with 1,000-5,000 employees. Read the report here.

About Kelly®
Kelly (Nasdaq: KELYA, KELYB) helps companies recruit and manage skilled workers and helps job seekers find great work. Since inventing the staffing industry in 1946, we have become experts in the many industries and local and global markets we serve. With a network of suppliers and partners, we connect jobs seekers around the world with meaningful work. Our suite of outsourcing and consulting services ensures companies have the people they need, when and where they are needed most. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, we empower businesses and individuals to access limitless opportunities in industries such as science, engineering, technology, education, manufacturing, retail, finance, and energy. Visit

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