Research published by the City and Guilds Group and Burning Glass Technologies has found that at a time of rising unemployment, 34% of Britons currently want to change careers.
However, 65% of working Britons expect the job market to be worse in 2021 than it was in 2020, and only 16% of respondents understand“exactly how their skills would be useful in another career.
The latest ‘Building bridges towards future jobs’ report found that many respondents “lack the confidence and know-how” when it comes to recognising the potential of transferable skills as a route to changing careers.
Some 32% of those surveyed “had no idea” where else their current skillset might be useful and, when asked to consider changing careers to move into new industries, 34% were concerned about starting over again, 21% said they lacked knowledge of other sectors, and 19% expressed an overall lack of confidence.
Those aged 25-34 are most reluctant to change careers, with 31% concerned by the lack of knowledge of other jobs, 41% worried about starting all over again (41%), 21% concerned about the cost of retraining and 32% worried about the salaries of other careers.
Amid this age group, however, one in 10 respondents were seeking a career change because the pandemic had “fundamentally altered” their current jobs.
The report also took a closer look at the health of the UK job market, analysing millions of job listings posted everyday by employers over the last twelve months.
It found that overall, the health of the UK’s job market was of “concern” and hiring had “clearly slowed down”. On 1 March 2020, job postings were up 57% year-on-year but by the 5 April 2020, postings had fallen to -54%.
While numbers seemed to be increasing in September, the postings dropped again below 2019 levels from mid-October 2020.
Nonetheless, demand for certain roles appeared to be rising in certain sectors, and industries that are actively recruiting include construction, digital, engineering, land and health.
With an ongoing shift in terms of the jobs that are available, the report suggests that the most effective way to change careers is for people to harness their transferable skills.
Kirstie Donnelly, CEO of City and Guilds Group, said: “The UK faces a new reality, where a job for life is no longer ‘the norm’. But Covid-19 has accelerated some of the changes happening in our economy and brought new ones into play. In this context, it’s not easy for people to understand where their current skills and experience can be put to good use.”