A study of 1000 UK adults who have been employed in the last two years found four in 10 admitted the outbreak has been a ‘wake-up call’ - leaving them to ponder their employment prospects.
With 28 per cent of those polled currently furloughed, a further 47 per cent of employed adults fear they could yet find themselves in the same boat.
While 42 per cent are concerned they won’t have a position to go back to once the lockdown ends.
Brits upskilling whilst in lockdown.
As a result, the study commissioned by PeopleCert, a global leader in business and IT certifications and languages, found a quarter are attempting to upskill in the hope they will be indispensable or employable elsewhere.
Reassuringly, 36 per cent of those polled revealed their employer has offered them support in improving their existing skillsets.
Byron Nicolaides, president and CEO of PeopleCert, said: “We passionately believe in the need for continuous training for every professional - we have even coined a term for this – ‘skilling’.
“Without skilling, existing members of staff are likely to become bored and demotivated because they’re not being challenged or given the chance to grow.
“And given recent events, this is perhaps even more important now than it has been for quite some time.
“If staff are unfulfilled they may start to think about pursuing a career elsewhere when life returns to normal.
“This in-turn is likely to mean businesses will need to invest huge sums of money in recruitment – with no guarantee they’ll be able to find anyone with the right attributes.
“So investing in skilling existing employees is the best way forward – and it’s also less costly.”
Considering a career change
The study also found more than a third of those polled have reconsidered their chosen career following the outbreak.
In fact, one in 10 are currently attempting to retrain for an entirely different job.
However 54 per cent fear they are too established in their current career to do something new.
But despite all the uncertainty at the moment, many are confident about their job prospects.
A fifth of those who have been furloughed revealed they feel optimistic about their career, with half using their time to learn something new with a view to boosting their existing skills.
These are the core skills every Brit should have
The PeopleCert study carried out through OnePoll, found those polled have 10 core skills on average – with problem solving, team working and organisation the most common.
However the skill they would most like to improve upon is public speaking, followed by computing and assertiveness.
Further to this, a separate study of 1,000 business owners by PeopleCert found six in 10 job applicants lack the skills employers are looking for.
And two thirds also said filling vacancies with workers who have the desired competencies is one of their biggest challenges – even harder than retaining valued members of staff.
Byron Nicolaides added: “As the results show, filling vacancies with individuals who have the desired skill set is a major challenge.
“Not only is recruitment costly on a financial level, there’s a danger it could also affect a business’ ability to grow because they can’t find the right people for the job.
“This is why skilling is so important – it reduces the need for investing in recruitment because fewer members of staff want to leave as they are likely to be more fulfilled and stimulated.
“Furthermore, businesses can then grow with a workforce which has all the right skills.
“For those eager to gain the most in-demand skill sets and for companies keen to ensure staff reach their potential, there are a number of highly regarded certifications available - including ITIL and DevOps.”