One in three adults say they want to change job, but most think they lack the skills to switch
Over a third of adults (34%) are looking to change job or career in the next two years, according to the latest results of the largest survey of adult participation in learning in the UK. Learning and Work Institute’s (L&W) survey finds that over two thirds (69%) of the people looking to switch say they will need to develop their skills to do so.
The survey finds the pandemic has had an impact on people wanting to switch jobs, with those with a change in job status since March 2020 more than twice as likely to want to change job or career compared to those who have not experienced any changes.
The structural labour market changes brought on by the pandemic are likely to continue and, when combined with longer working lives, are likely to mean people need to change jobs or careers a greater number of times.
Despite this, L&W’s Fast Forward report notes that the number of people switching careers has actually fallen since the global financial crisis. L&W’s adult participation in learning survey data seeks to understand what is preventing people changing careers and jobs despite such high numbers saying they want to do so.
Changing sectors – what does the data tell us?
L&W’s Fast Forward report found that the number of people switching careers has actually fallen since the global financial crisis5. The analysis shows that the number of ‘sector switchers’ fell after the last recession and only partially recovered before falling again during the pandemic. The number of people moving to another job in the same sector fell following the last recession but subsequently recovered back to its pre-recession level of around 350-400,000 per quarter and only fell slightly during the pandemic. By contrast, the number of people switching sectors remained about 20% below prerecession levels and fell again during the pandemic.
However, our surveys did find interest from employees in switching jobs, particularly those working in sectors such as hospitality (42%) and retail (36%).
Changing job or career – what do people want?
Learning and Work Institute’s 2021 Adult Participation in Learning Survey6 asked adults about their plans to change job or career in the near future and the support they would need to do so.
Around a third (34 per cent) of adults want to change their job or career within the next two years, while a substantial minority (17 per cent) are unsure whether they want to change their job or career, suggesting that there is some level of uncertainty among workers regarding their immediate career plans.
Almost seven in 10 (69 per cent) adults saying they want to change job or career believe that they would need to develop their skills in order to do so (Figure 2).
Supporting adults to change job or career
When asked about the support that they would find helpful if they were looking to change job or career, adults most commonly indicated that they would find learning or training helpful (31 per cent), followed by financial support. A quarter (25 per cent) said that they would find financial support towards the costs of learning or training helpful and one in five (20 per cent) respondents want financial support towards living costs. Respondents also indicated that they would find advice useful – to help choose the right job or career for them (23 per cent), to choose the right learning or training for them (17 per cent) and/or to help them get a new job (15 per cent). Seventeen per cent of respondents would value coaching and support when they first start a new job.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of adults didn’t know what support they would find helpful to if they wanted to change job or career.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Source: One in three adults say they want to change job, but most think they lack the skills to switch – Learning and Work Institute