One in six workers are retrained and ready for new careers, research shows
2 March 2022

One in six workers are retrained and ready for new careers, research shows

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Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones

Emma-Louise Jones is digital PR manager at Ciphr. She is a member of the PRCA and has worked in PR, communications and marketing for over 15 years.

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Career development Research

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Ciphr polled over 1,000 workers to find out how many people have retrained and made a career shift since the start of the pandemic

A new survey has revealed that nearly one in six (15%) employees working in the UK have already retrained for a new role or profession. Their current employers just don’t know it yet.

HR software provider Ciphr polled over 1,000 workers to find out how many people have retrained and made a career shift since the start of the pandemic, in March 2020. The findings suggest that nearly one in three (30%) have either already retrained and changed the industry they work in or have paved the way to do so by upskilling and retraining.

Senior managers seem the most open to pursuing different career paths, with one in four (26%) high earners having already retrained and made a change. A further 27% have retrained but have yet to start their new line of work. In comparison, just a quarter (23%) of non-managerial staff have retrained (10%) or retrained and made a career change (13%) during this time.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, age does have a significant bearing on the results. Only one in ten (9%) survey respondents over 45 retrained and changed careers during the pandemic, compared to around one in five (18%) 25-to-44-year-olds and nearly a third (31%) of 18-to-24-year-olds. Notably, a quarter (23%) of the over 55s who had to retrain, or change careers, did so because they were made redundant, twice the number (12%) of 18-to-54-year-olds.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has impacted people’s career aspirations and flipped many long-standing work-life priorities around. Over a quarter (28%) of those who say they’ve retrained (and/or changed their career), did so either as a direct result of the pandemic (13%), after being furloughed (12%), or being made redundant (10%). But even then, people rarely cite just one single reason for wanting to change or retrain into a new career – there’s a variety of factors at play.

For the majority (33%) of workers, earning more money and upskilling are the two most important drivers for career retraining. Followed by improving work-life balance (26%), enjoying a more meaningful career (23%), feeling more valued at work (21%), and reducing work-related stress (21%).

Other career change motivators include concerns about a lack of career advancement (18%), wanting to ‘follow their passion’ (18%), being dissatisfied or bored at work (15%), and being unhappy with the work culture in their previous profession (14%).

Top 10 reasons why people want to change or retrain into a new career - Ciphr

The proportion of workers who have retrained but have yet to make a career transition varies widely by industry. People working in some of the professions most impacted by Covid-induced restrictions understandably seem more likely to have re-evaluated what they do for a living. As many as one in four of those currently working in the arts, entertainment, or recreation (25%) and construction (24%) have reportedly retrained for an alternative career since the start of the pandemic.

While one in five IT, software, and telecoms professionals (22%), hospitality workers (21%), and those in finance and insurance (19%) have also been considering a change – having already retrained for a new career but not yet made the move.

Conversely, according to the data, government and public administration workers (7%) and those employed in the transportation and warehousing sectors (6%) are among the least likely to have retrained for a different career.

Commenting on the findings, Claire Williams, director of people and services at Ciphr, says: “Over the past 21 months, and for the foreseeable future, the pandemic continues to upend the world. It’s been a challenging time for everyone, and there have been fundamental changes to the ways that we work that will remain permanently. So it makes sense that an individual’s priorities and outlook on life are likely to have changed too. Career ambitions from two years ago may not have the same importance now, and what was once a low priority could – on reflection – be a deal-breaker. Employees and employers are still navigating what this means in the long term.

“For now, employers need to ensure that they are actively engaging with their staff through open and regular career conversations, ongoing consideration and communication around flexible working arrangements, and clearly defined development routes and opportunities, if they want to increase their chances of retaining their top talent.”

Ciphr polled a representative sample of 1,031 employed British adults in November 2021. The survey results are available as an infographic at www.ciphr.com/survey-have-you-retrained-or-changed-careers-during-the-pandemic.

More than 600 organisations use Ciphr’s cloud-based HR, learning, payroll and recruitment software solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors, with customers including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, British Museum, Cambridge Building Society, Cera Care, Claire’s Accessories UK, Crisis UK, Fareham College, Haygrove, HH Associates (HH Global), Information Commissioner’s Office, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Met Office, PrepWorld, Sport England, Thorntons Law LLP, Vodafone Automotive UK, Volkswagen Group UK, Wales Air Ambulance, and Zero Waste Scotland.

For more information, please visit www.ciphr.com.

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Media enquiries:
Emma-Louise Jones, digital PR manager at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
t: 01628 244206

David Richter, director of marketing at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
Website: www.ciphr.com
Twitter: @CiphrHRSoftware
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ciphr

Notes:

Ciphr polled a representative sample of 1,031 employed British adults in November 2021. Survey respondents were able to choose all options that applied to them to describe why they had chosen to change or retrain into a new career. All statistics have been rounded to the nearest integer or one decimal place. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

Ciphr is a specialist provider of SaaS HR, payroll, recruitment and learning software through its HCM platform, Ciphr Connect. Ciphr’s cloud-based solutions help busy HR teams to streamline their processes across the entire employee lifecycle and spend more time working strategically.

Ciphr Connect enables seamless integration, not only with Ciphr’s own solutions but also to an ecosystem of specialist, third-party tools using its modern API technology.

Ciphr is a privately held company, headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Over 200 employees work across the group, which includes Ciphr, Digits Industries and Payroll Business Solutions (PBS).

More than 600 organisations use Ciphr’s solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors, with customers including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, British Museum, Cambridge Building Society, Cera Care, Claire’s Accessories UK, Crisis UK, Fareham College, Haygrove, HH Associates (HH Global), Information Commissioner’s Office, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Met Office, PrepWorld, Sport England, Thorntons Law LLP, Vodafone Automotive UK, Volkswagen Group UK, Wales Air Ambulance, and Zero Waste Scotland.

Ciphr spokespeople are available to provide expert media comment on a broad range of topics, including HR strategy, people management, employee experience and wellbeing, the future of work, tech trends, business and leadership, learning and development, and more.