The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a number of lifestyle changes for many, from a shift to remote working, through to the ‘race for space,’ an uptick in outdoor activities and even an increase in home cooking. However, it is not just our lifestyles that have changed, but our careers too.
Businesses have faced a challenging time over the last year and whilst government support measures like the furlough scheme have gone a long way to protect jobs during the pandemic, they have not provided a catch all solution, leading to a record high in redundancies last year and an unemployment rate of 4.8% this year.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see that many people are beginning to use this opportunity to train for a new profession, specifically in the trade industry. Online learning portal, Access Training UK revealed a 29% increase in applicants to its trade courses in 2020, including a noticeable 14% increase in female applicants. It seems training to be an electrician has been the most popular avenue over the last year with a 38% increase in trainees. closely followed by gas engineer courses (29%), plumber courses (24%) and carpentry courses (13%).
In addition, there is also a large proportion of the population who are reconsidering their career path. 40% are considering leaving their employer this year to pursue other avenues and one in five of the global workforce have confessed to being concerned about their work-life balance. Having spent more time at home over the last year than ever before, the prospect of entrepreneurship and being your own boss has become more appealing than ever.
Whilst embarking on a new career and learning new skills can be exciting, it is important to consider all your options and to get expert advice before taking the next step. To support those looking for a path to employment and those who are hoping to embark on a new challenge, Access Training UK has shared its five top tips to consider:
- What are your skills and capabilities? Take time to understand your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. By having a clear understanding of your capabilities, you will be able to get a clearer picture of whether you are suited to the career you are seeking
- What are your goals? It is important to set clear short term and long term goals from the outset. This will enable you to create a roadmap to your dream job and can relate to the recruitment, application or training processes necessary to take the first steps in changing your career
- Do your research! Research cannot be overestimated. Read up on the requirements of your dream job, the wider industry and the qualifications required to ensure your long term success
- Pick the correct training provider for you. Make sure that if you require qualifications you pick a training provider that is willing to invest in you and your career. They should have strong connections in the industry you wish to work in as networking is essential when starting out, especially in the trade industry.
- Put in the hard work. It is a cliche’ but quite simply, you will only get out what you put in. Starting a new career and training for new qualifications requires commitment, perseverance and a willingness to succeed.