Home Business News Almost half of UK workers want to upskill in face of potential recession

Almost half of UK workers want to upskill in face of potential recession

by LLB Reporter
20th Mar 23 9:35 am

46% of UK employees are keen to undertake training to upskill for a potential recession, with over half (52%) willing to fund this themselves in their own time, new research by Talent.com among over 1000 UK workers has found.

However, 1 in 10 said their employer is not offering the chance to learn new skills and 76% would be willing to undertake training outside of working hours if it was funded by somebody else (such as their employer).

Out of those not looking to upskill, one-third (34%) said this is because training isn’t offered by employers, they don’t know how to access it, or don’t know what kinds of skills they will need for the future world of work.

Generational differences

61% of workers over the age of 45 say they are not looking to reskill, with 47% of these saying that they believe their current skillset will be enough to get them through.  18% said that they do not have time and 13% cannot afford to pay for it themselves. 1 in 10 over 45s also say that their company is not providing them with the opportunity to develop new skills at work.

Similarly under 35s not looking to upskill say that they don’t know which skills areas to focus on (24%), they don’t have time (26%) or the funds (26%). However two-thirds of this age group are looking to diversify their skillset or have already done so to prepare for a potential recession.

Training and development is crucial

Noura Dadzie, Senior VP of Sales at Talent.com said, “For the UK workforce the threat of a recession is real. Half of UK employees feel that a looming recession is a threat to their job security and would be prepared to switch industries if their current one was threatened.” 

“In today’s competitive job market, where candidates hold the power, it is clear that employers who offer training to their employees will not only be a more attractive choice to potential candidates, but will also amass and retain a more skilled workforce with workers keen to take up training that is on offer.

“Offering career development paths improves the employer value proposition and make organizations more attractive not only to Gen Z and Millennial employees but also to older workers looking to return to the workplace. 

“In a previous Talent.com study on salary transparency, it was found that 20% of the UK workforce considered access to training and development plans as one of the most important factors when searching for a job.”

Actions in response to the cost of living

The research also asked which actions members of the workforce are planning to take over the next six months in response to the rise in the cost of living.

The majority of workers (45%) stated that they did not plan to do anything related to their jobs in response to the cost-of-living crisis. Many workers identified alternative actions such as developing a side hustle (18%), taking on one or more additional jobs (8%), or freelancing (4%) as ways to counter the rise in the cost of living.

Additionally, employees identified asking their employer for a raise (19%), and taking on more hours (8%) as actions planned to be taken in response to the cost of living rises. 

Participants who expressed a desire to take action over the next six months in response to the cost of living were asked to identify their main reason for wanting to do so.

Reasons for additional income

The majority of respondents (43%) said that they required more income for everyday expenses, suggesting that managing daily expenses such as bills and groceries are a main concern for the workforce. The second largest group (30%) said they needed more income for discretionary spending such as holidays, and the third group (25%) expressed wanting to be able to contribute more of their income toward savings.

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