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No more ‘industry for life’ for workers

New research suggests it is not just the ‘job for life’ concept that has become outdated, but also the idea of working in the same industry for life.


According to analysis by FutureLearn, 21% of UK working age adults do not expect to be working in the same industry in 2030, a feeling shared by a quarter of those in Australia and one-fifth of those in America.


The findings were included in the digital education platform’s global Future of Learning report, for which it surveyed 2,200 adults in the UK, 1,182 adults in the US and 1,040 adults in Australia.


The survey found that many were planning to upskill to help them move into new careers. Overall, 40% of UK respondents said they were likely to take an online course within the next five years, with numbers highest among the younger generations.


The majority (60%) of Generation Z workers polled said they would take a course in the next five years, while 53% of Millennials were planning on doing so.


Many were planning a more imminent change of career, with 21% of UK respondents saying they would consider spending time or money to learn new skills for a job or career move in the next year. This percentage was 31% in Australia and 26% in the US.


Catalina Schveninger, Chief People Officer at FutureLearn, said: “There are no more jobs for life, which is something research has been predicting for some time. Lifelong learning is going to play an ever more central part in helping employees, jobseekers and career-changers alike to develop new skills, grow in confidence and increase their employability.”


Covid a catalyst

While the trend for workers to switch industries during their career has been in play for some time, the research also found that Covid-19 had exacerbated moves in this direction.


The pandemic has led one in 10 UK workers to rethink their career paths, with many having already experienced significant career changes.


Across the three countries, almost one in 10 young people (8% of Millennials, 7% of Generation Z) had already moved into a new industry as a direct result of the pandemic.


In addition, 15% of Millennials and Generation Z workers had re-evaluated their career path due to the pandemic. 


Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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