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THE GREAT RESKILLING: A THIRD OF BRITS CONSIDER SWITCHING JOBS AMID COST OF LIVING CRISIS

ByAdam Myles

Dec 5, 2023
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THE GREAT RESKILLING: A THIRD OF BRITS CONSIDER SWITCHING JOBS AMID COST OF LIVING CRISIS

  • Over a third (35%) of Brits are taking steps to make a career change to increase their wages in response to the cost-of-living crisis
  • More than half (52%) of those in the creative sector are gearing up to move roles to bring in more cash
  • Brits aged between 18-34 are more likely to have made a career change in the last three years (50%), compared to the average Brit (30%)
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people in marketing and advertising industry have changed jobs in the last three years
  • IT (12%) and artificial intelligence (11%) came out as the top career paths that Brits believe were most lucrative

Over a third (35%) of Brits are actively looking at steps to change jobs to increase their earning potential, according to new research from Forbes Advisor, the price comparison and financial guidance website. This figure increases to over half (52%) of those working in creative arts and design jobs – the highest of any industry.

The research also found that 30% of the working population – equal to 9.9 million Brits[1] – have seen their working status change in the last three years by leaving their job, returning to education or retiring.

When it comes to career longevity, younger people are less likely to stay in their jobs than the rest of the population, with half (50%) of restless 18-34-year-olds in the UK having changed their profession during the last 36 months. The average is below 30%.

Among all ages, London saw the most movement, with two-fifths (40%) of the capital’s residents changing their working status since 2020. The South East and North West of England both saw the least job movement, with around a quarter (25%) of people in these regions seeing their job status change.

When asked why they had changed their role, one of the most common reasons given by Brits (13%) was to increase earning potential, a similar number (13%) of workers also say that the industry they were working in paid them poorly. The cost-of-living crisis is also cited by many as a factor in leaving their job, with 12% saying that increasing living costs meant their pay was no longer covering monthly expenses.

Those working in marketing, advertising or public relations are most likely to have left their job over the past three years, with almost two-thirds (62%) of their industry seeing a change in job status. The volatility of energy and utility prices in recent times has also translated across to jobs in the industry – 60% of energy and utility workers having switched jobs in that time period, while 59% of those working in recruitment and HR, placing third in the list.

Who is most likely to want to change their career?
Rank Industry Percentage
1 Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations 62%
2 Energy and Utilities 60%
3 Recruitment and HR 59%
4 Charity and Voluntary Work 58%
5 Environment and Agriculture 57%
Source: Forbes Advisor

The volatility in the job market comes at a time where British companies are failing at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2008[2], partly due to higher interest rates[3], while increased operating costs and reduced consumer spending also play a part[4].

When it comes to industries where people think they will earn more money, IT is ranked number one (12%), and the emerging industry of artificial intelligence is a close second, with 11% of Brits thinking that joining the AI revolution will put more money in their pockets.

The creative industry has struggled for investment recently[5] – and three in 10 Brits (29%) say they avoid working in the industry entirely because of the poor pay.

Kevin Pratt, business expert at Forbes Advisor, said: “There has been a long-term trend away from the ‘job for life’ culture that characterised the workplace for previous generations, and this has been given fresh impetus by the cost-of-living crisis. With household budgets under severe pressure, it looks like many people are prioritising securing a higher income above all else.

“If we go back 20 or 30 years, employers would look for a period of employment consolidation when examining a CV – evidence that a candidate was able to commit to a particular challenge for a number of years. But society has changed. It is now widely accepted that people will move around much more frequently in search of a bigger pay cheque.

“A volatile workplace is no bad thing – it means people are willing and able to change according to variances in demand. Take the inexorable rise of the IT sector in general and AI in particular. These will provide many well-paid jobs in the coming months and years, and happily there are likely to be people who will want and be able to grasp the opportunities that arise.”