For both employees and employers, the work landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years.
Many businesses were forced to take a fresh look at their offering and operations to adapt to an unprecedented shift in working capabilities so they could continue to trade and serve their customers, and in some cases simply survive.
A large percentage of workers, either by choice or circumstance, retrained and changed their career completely, and of course, we know how workers’ expectations have also shifted. In 2021 Aviva published a survey reporting that a whopping 60% of UK workers planned to make changes to their career following the pandemic.
So, why the big shift?
Sadly, the pandemic hit businesses hard, and a significant number of companies didn’t survive. ONS data shows that between 70,000 and 100,000 UK companies went under each quarter of the pandemic from 2020 – 2021. That’s a staggering 650,000 businesses. Some of these may have faced difficulties other than COVID but the global health emergency and subsequent economic downturn was certainly the catalyst behind many businesses closing, leading employees to seek employment elsewhere.
Additionally, employees who were required to work from home, or who sought temporary work during restrictions, realised the possibility of more enjoyment and a better work-life balance. As a result, many employees felt inspired by their new working environments, roles and industries and looked to make more permanent changes to their careers.
With shifting employee expectations, companies are seeing big changes and higher levels of staff turnover. In some industries, the challenge of replacing staff cannot keep up with demand and so roles are becoming more blended with an increasing number of workers using the opportunity to retrain or upskill to fill the gaps and secure a promotion. “Rising numbers of professionals are now looking to upskill into new industries and get back into work by changing careers,” says The CPD Standards Office.
And now with record inflation and an impending cost of living crisis, “The job market is now more competitive than ever, with many seeking any type of work they can find to support themselves financially.”
Which industries are hiring and what skills are in demand?
With a massive percentage of frontline healthcare workers leaving their jobs following the pressure of the pandemic, it’s not surprising that the NHS is screaming out for medical professionals. There was already a shortage of nurses, GPs, midwives, and other healthcare workers, which has only intensified, and the government has pledged to increase the number of people being trained to meet the demand. Obviously, the skills necessary for medical professionals require a huge amount of training, usually at a university or associated educational body.
With many companies moving entirely online, the demand for digital marketing has increased. “Digital marketing representatives make up 1.97% of all open roles and marketing managers come in at 2%,” says The CPD Standards Office. Digital marketing requires skills such as data analysis, content creation, a vast knowledge of SEO and SEM, social media savvy, and basic design skills are a plus.
Arts and Entertainment
According to Diversity Dashboard, the arts and entertainment sector has seen a 369% increase in job vacancies. “In total, 38,000 vacancies were recorded in the sector between February and April 2022, compared to 8,000 a year previously,” says the recruitment company.
With a huge influx of electric vehicles flooding the market, and the government’s ban on petrol or diesel motors being manufactured after 2030, it’s no wonder that there’s a desperate need for people who can maintain and fix EVs. “With just 6.5% of the automotive workforce currently qualified to work on electric vehicles there is a gaping chasm in the availability of technicians,” says Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI.
Nurseries across the UK are desperate for qualified staff, and a number are being forced to close or reduce hours due to a lack of workers. “Until recently, government underfunding was the main reason nurseries were going out of business, but now we are seeing more nurseries unable to stay open because they can’t employ sufficient staff,” explains Purnima Tanuku, the chief executive of the NDNA. Nursery workers require childcare qualifications such as a diploma obtained from a college course or an apprenticeship.
Why acquiring new skills is essential for employees and for your business
As the world of work continues to change, it’s important for employees to have consistency when it comes to L&D. Companies are beginning to reconsider:
a) how they hire and
b) how they structure their organisations
Based on the skills people have and are working towards, rather than the traditional approach of job roles. Businesses are realising that having a highly skilled workforce means their talent will allow them to weather the storm in times of uncertainty and maximise growth during times of prosperity.
Whether you’re reshuffling, promoting internally, or nurturing existing talent, offering a learning experience platform that automatically tailors learning content to each individual’s skills and interests will help maximise learner engagement, ingrain a culture of learning, and ultimately allow your team to consistently gain new, and enhance existing, skills and knowledge.
Introducing effective, insightful learning which enables you to recognise and close skills gaps means you are safeguarding your business now and for the future, and by allowing your employees to learn new skills, grow and develop, they will feel valued as both employees and professionals and that you care about their happiness, wellbeing and progression.