Nearly half (45%) of Brits are taking additional steps to upskill in the hope of changing career, according to research by a EdTech company, Go1.

Whilst high amongst those aged 25 to 44, the report also found one in five workers over the age of 55 are considering a career change too, showing the scale of the resignation isn’t just impacting the young.

However, over half (51%) of millennials thought they were too old to learn a new skill.


Upskilling and new businesses

Whilst The Great Resignation has been much documented, there is also The Great Incorporation going on, with a record number of Brits launching businesses in 2021.

According to the Go1 research, almost 32 percent have started their own business since taking an online course. Also, new established businesses were up by 21 percent in 2021, with 810,316 new businesses incorporated.

Upskilling could lead to a new generation of entrepreneurs, as 31 percent of Brits undertook training to launch their own company, suggesting this trend is showing no signs of abating.


The Top 10 Skills People Want to Learn

  • IT (22%)
  • Problem Solving (19%)
  • Motivation (18%)
  • Language (18%)
  • Management (17%)
  • Positivity (17%)
  • Leadership (17%)
  • Writing (16%)
  • Creative Thinking (15%)
  • Communication (14%)


Does upskilling aid wellbeing?

Mental health and work/life balance continue to be an important topic of conversation for employers and employees across the country, and Go1’s report shows half (50%) of Brits have experienced better mental health as a result of learning a new skill.

While career advancement is important across the workforce, what often gets forgotten is employee wellbeing. However, over half (55%) are finding that developing their skill set has improved their self-esteem, and 50 percent are finding learning a new skill is improving their mental health.

“Seeing interpersonal and wellbeing skills so high on the list of Brits’ priorities is also really positive and shows how far the conversation around supportive, inclusive and empathetic workplaces has come; something we feel incredibly passionate about at Go1,” says CRO and Co-founder of Go1, Chris Eigeland.


What age group is upskilling the most?

Almost 60 percent of late millennials and early GenX (35-44) learned a new skill to change their career. Meanwhile, for older GenX and beyond (55+), 22 percent admitted to and have actually learned new skills to change their career.

Further, 43 percent of workers avoid taking a course because they believe they are too old to learn something new.

Surprisingly, when broken down by generations, 27 percent more millennials cited age as a learning hurdle than older GenXs and beyond (55+). Over half (51%) of millennials thought they were too old to learn a new skill vs. only 24 percent of Gen X’s and beyond.

Interestingly, more men believe they are too old to develop a new skill than their female counterparts. In fact, this rang true for nearly half of men (46%) who believed they could not learn something new because of their age, while only 2 in 5 (40%) of women believed their age was a deterrent to learning new skills.


Upskilling and gender

It is no secret that men dominate the STEM fields of the workplace due to systemic inequities, and it is reflecting on the type of content consumed by each gender. More men took a course on IT software (18%) than their female counterparts (10%).

But while men out consumed women in STEM courses, women exceeded in courses in health, safety, and wellbeing (30%), compared to 18 percent of men.


Career progression

Nearly 38 percent of employees reported a promotion after taking an online course.

“Continued learning is one of the most important aspects of our professional and personal wellbeing,” says Eigeland. “Our research shows that you’re never too old to learn, to change careers or even to launch your own business.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.