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UK Employees are Considering a Career Change as Coronavirus acts as a ‘wake-up call’
May 14, 2020
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A study of UK based adults found that 39 per cent of respondents are considering changing careers, with one in ten attempting to retrain for a completely different job during the coronavirus crisis.

Millions of working adults are reevaluating their careers during the coronavirus pandemic with many ‘re-skilling’ to ensure they can adapt to the post lockdown workplace. 

A study of 1000 adults who have been employed over the last two years found the outbreak to be a ‘wake-up call’, with 39 per cent pondering their job prospects.

Just under a third of those polled (28 per cent) are currently furloughed, with a further 47 per cent fearing they could find themselves in the same boat.

Another 42 per cent are concerned they will not have a position to go back to once the lockdown ends.

The study, commissioned by PeopleCert, a global leader in business and IT certifications and languages, found a quarter are attempting to upskill in the hope they will be indispensable or easily employable elsewhere.

Reassuringly, 36 per cent of those polled revealed their employer has offered them support in improving their existing skillsets.

Byron Nicolaides, president and CEO of PeopleCert, said: “We passionately believe in the need for continuous training for every professional – we have even coined a term for this – ‘skilling’.

“Without skilling, existing members of staff are likely to become bored and demotivated because they’re not being challenged or given the chance to grow.

“And given recent events, this is perhaps even more important now than it has been for quite some time.

“If staff are unfulfilled they may start to think about pursuing a career elsewhere when life returns to normal.

“This in-turn is likely to mean businesses will need to invest huge sums of money in recruitment – with no guarantee they’ll be able to find anyone with the right attributes.

“So investing in skilling existing employees is the best way forward – and it’s also less costly.”

The study also found more than a third of those polled have reconsidered their chosen career since lockdown began.

In fact, one in 10 are currently attempting to retrain for an entirely different job.

However, 54 per cent fear they are too established in their current career to do something new.

But despite all the uncertainty at the moment, many are confident about their job prospects.

A fifth of those who have been furloughed revealed they feel optimistic about their career, with half using their time to learn something new with a view to boosting their existing skills.

The PeopleCert study, carried out through OnePoll, found those questioned have 10 core skills on average – with problem-solving, team working and organisation the most common.

However, the skill they would most like to improve upon is public speaking, followed by computing and assertiveness.

A separate study of 1,000 business owners, by PeopleCert, found six in 10 job applicants lack the skills employers are looking for.

Two thirds also said filling vacancies with workers who have the desired skillsets is one of their biggest challenges – even harder than retaining valued members of staff.

Byron Nicolaides added: “As the results show, filling vacancies with individuals who have the desired skill set is a major challenge.

“Not only is recruitment costly on a financial level, but there’s a danger it could also affect a business’ ability to grow because they can’t find the right people for the job.

“This is why skilling is so important – it reduces the need for investing in recruitment because fewer members of staff want to leave as they are likely to be more fulfilled and stimulated.

“Furthermore, businesses can then grow with a workforce which has all the right skills.”


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