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Rachel King Careers Advisor

Over half of workers considering career change after furlough

17th May 2021

Research has shown that 51% of workers who have been furloughed are considering a career change or have already decided to do so.

Research has shown that over half of workers (51%) who have been furloughed are now either considering a career change or have already decided to change careers.

This time last year, around 30% of the total UK workforce was furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Fast forward a year and new research* now shows over half of furloughed workers are thinking of changing careers but a massive 60% are worried that there will be no jobs to go back to.

The findings are indicative of a change in the country’s economic structure and Rachel King, Careers Advisor from Barking & Dagenham College is not surprised.

Rachel King Careers Advisor
Rachel King Careers Advisor

Rachel says: “The research has highlighted just what a huge effect the pandemic has had on the workforce. The pandemic has seen workers being furloughed and has also meant redundancies, with sectors such as hospitality and travel for example being heavily affected over the last year, while other industries have been flourishing. It makes sense that people are thinking that now is the time to change careers. Whilst it may seem scary to be in this position, there are options. What we need to be able to do is offer help to those who are in this situation and are now considering a total change of career as a result of the pandemic.”

With this in mind, Rachel has the following advice:

-Get to know your skills: By understanding what skills you have you will be better equipped to know which can be transferred to new roles or industries. A useful link to help you do this is through the National Careers Service.

-Research potential job sectors: The internet has a wealth of information on different job sectors out there and the roles there are within them. The National Careers Service for example has a ‘job profiles’ section which will help you understand the roles, the types of jobs, and the expected salaries.

-Speak to a Careers Advisor: Careers Advisors can help you plan out your next career move. They are also great at helping you build up your strengths in areas you might feel you lack and are a good source of information and helpful hints and tips. For example, at Barking & Dagenham College we have a team of Careers Advisors you could call on to help get you started. Just call 0208 090 3020 or e-mail

-Don’t forget to update your CV: Along with a covering letter, your CV is often the first thing that a potential employer sees from you. You need to make sure it’s up-to-date and includes things such as examples of skills that you have that would be relevant to the job you are applying for. Your Careers Advisor or the National Careers Service (if you are over 19) can help you with this.

-Consider signing up for training courses: If you are interested in getting into a different industry it may be that a training course would help you reposition yourself for new roles and give you vital experience that will help you stand out from the crowd at interview. There are courses available on most subjects and at all levels and remember you don’t have to have any previous qualifications to start. It’s also not as expensive as you may think. There are a number of free courses available to study with us.

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