Third of Scots 'considering career change following Covid pandemic'

Almost half of those who took part in the survey said they no longer felt tied to a specific sector as a result of lockdown.

Third of Scots considering career change three years on from coronavirus pandemic, survey finds iStock

A third of Scots say they have considered a career change as a direct result of the Covid pandemic, a new study has found.

The figures, uncovered by Glasgow Kelvin College, reveal one in four Scots believe the pandemic created new career opportunities while a third said they would seek education in new skills as a result of lockdown.

The survey of 1,000 people across the country found that 36% said they had been inspired by others to change careers, with the number even higher at 46% for 16 to 24-year-olds.

The study was conducted as a means of gauging how life in Scotland has transformed in the years following the first Covid lockdown on March 23, 2020.

Workplaces were completely altered as a result of the pandemic with home working becoming the norm for many.

Despite the ranging impact of Covid, one in four Scots agreed the uncertainties associated with the pandemic presented new opportunities for their career.

Around 49% said they no longer feel tied to a specific sector with 35% saying they would go to college to learn new skills, with this figure reaching 40% for Glaswegians in the survey.

Of those surveyed, Gen Z (46%) and Millennials (37%) feel retraining is easier at any age, compared to Gen X, who find this less so (26%).

Charlotte Smith, 26, was working in London’s hospitality sector during lockdown when she decided to move back to Glasgow to pursue a career in dietetics.

She said the pandemic made her realise how important her own goals were.

She said: “I’d worked my way up to restaurant manager during my nine-year hospitality career. But then Covid hit, and it made me realise life is too short not to go for your goals.  

“I’ve always had an interest in food and well-being and decided to move back to Glasgow during lockdown where I applied for the Access to Dietetics course at Kelvin College.”

She is now planning to progress to university as a result of the change.

She said: “It opened huge doors and I’ve been offered four university places, accepting one at Glasgow Caledonian University to study Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Lockdown made me realise my passion and gave me the drive to go for it. When you know where you’re headed, it makes you highly determined and motivated.   

“My end goal is to work in Paediatric Dietetics to support children who have eating disorders, where I’ll get the opportunity to help make lasting changes to a child’s life.”

Robin Ashton, vice principal of curriculum at Glasgow Kelvin College said: “The pandemic forced people to rethink their jobs and how they worked. When the world was forced to a pause, there was a realisation that you aren’t stuck in a role for the rest of your life, and there are other opportunities out there – whether that be education, retraining, or upskilling.” 

Mr Ashton said the college has seen a rise in the number of people seeking to retrain for a job that better suits their lifestyle.

He added: “If there is a positive from Covid-19, it’s that it has allowed people to realise what they truly value and want from life.

“Glasgow Kelvin College has been the gateway to a new path for so many people since the pandemic, specifically supporting students to make ‘non-traditional’ choices, with excellent career opportunities for women in STEM, and equally good prospects for men entering childcare, caring, and nursing professions.”

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