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Career changers in need of more HR support

Changes in career are on the rise as new research shows a job for life is no longer ‘the norm’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report by City & Guilds has found that the pandemic’s negative effect on the job market has unexpectedly leant itself to a significant number of people wanting to change their careers.

A third (34%) of Britons said they would like to make a career change, though just 16% of respondents said they know where their skills would be useful in another career.

HR therefore has a vital role to play in providing support to new hires switching industries, says City and Guilds Group CEO Kirstie Donnelly.

Speaking to HR magazine, Donnelly said: “In response to the current climate, businesses are increasingly open to recruiting talent with professional experience from different industries and actually recognising the potential of individuals.

“The benefits of which create a more diverse and richer talent pool to recruit from, but employers need to do more than simply have a flexible hiring process in place.”

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She suggested HR consider investing in training and coaching to support people from different backgrounds transition into a new career.

This would be vital, the report found, as the UK workforce also lacks confidence and the ability to recognise the potential of transferable skills.

A third (32%) of those surveyed did not know where else their current skill set might be useful and, when asked to consider changing careers to move into new industries, a third (34%) were concerned about starting over again.

A fifth (21%) said they lacked knowledge of other sectors, and around the same number (19%) expressed an overall lack of confidence.

The report also found that almost two thirds (65%) of Britain’s working population expect the job market to be worse in 2021 than it was in 2020.