New research highlights that workers over the age of 30, considered to be mid-career, are thinking about switching jobs and are most receptive to the potential of retraining. 

A new report by Totaljobs and Boston Consulting Group highlights that growing numbers of mid-career workers are considering changing their careers.

This is shown to be a direct result of being part of a sector which was badly hit by the pandemic or having the most concern about job automation in their industry.

In the UK, workers who have job roles such as services (77 per cent), manual and manufacturing (76 per cent) and customer service (76 per cent) were shown to be the most willing to retrain.

In addition to this, people within the insurance industry (78 per cent), consumer products and services (66 per cent), energy (65 per cent) and travel and tourism (65 per cent) also showed a strong willingness to undertake retraining.

Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs, stated that workers and employers “have come to accept that real security lies in being adaptable, which sometimes means shifting roles or even careers, and thinking outside the box when it comes to hiring”.

As such, Mr. Wilson advised employers to be flexible when hiring and not being “afraid to tap into new talent pools from mid-career workers with transferable skills from different industries”, arguing that they bring “fresh perspectives”.

Another lesson that employees have taken from the pandemic is becoming more aware of automation and the impact of technology on their job roles.

This was particularly concerning for young employees (under the age of 20) of which over half (51 per cent) reported becoming more concerned about automation during the pandemic. However, overall, this was only a key concern for just over a third of the UK workforce (35 per cent).

Increased concern was especially common among those who work in legal (56 per cent), insurance (48 per cent), media (44 per cent) and financial institutions (42 per cent).

Despite the shift to remote working, this report found that the proportion of workers spending a few weeks or more on learning and development has held steady, at two-thirds (65 per cent) since previous research conducted in 2018.

Again, it was found that younger workers aged between 21-30 (61 per cent) spend the most time learning which was closely followed by those in the 31-40 age bracket (59 per cent).

People working within HR (66 per cent), as well as consulting (66 per cent) and science and research (76 per cent), were found to spend the most time on learning and development.

*The report surveyed over 209,000 participants across 190 countries, including over 3,000 UK respondents, between October and November 2020.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.