Rishi Sunak: There are no plans to extend furlough
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Furlough is scheduled to end this month following over a year of formal Government support. Formally known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it has protected millions of jobs which may have otherwise been lost due to the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. With businesses forced to shutter, the Government stepped in to cover a percentage of the wages of those placed on the scheme. This offered reprieve to many companies who were experiencing a lack of trade, and a potential loss of income due to the changing circumstances of the outbreak, as well as stay at home orders. But the scheme was only intended to be a temporary measure, and is now drawing to a close. September marks the final month of formal Government support, meaning from the end of the month onwards, employers and workers alike will have to find alternative solutions.
There are two sides of the coin in this matter. While some are fearful of mass levels of unemployment and redundancies, others believe there could be a chance to fill roles as restrictions lift and people get out and about once again. This is due to data showing there are a record number of job vacancies on offer across the UK.
But according to the recruitment industry, there is little room for optimism. The end of furlough, it is asserted, is not likely to create much change in job vacancies, creating potential problems for businesses right across the country.
The latest analysis from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Job Recovery Tracker has shown that there are a total of 1.66million active job adverts in the UK. Across the last five weeks, there have been the highest weekly figures in job adverts since recorded in mid-December 2020.
The number of new job adverts which have been posted each week has also remained high. This has been the case since early June. Last week alone, there were 193,000 new job postings recorded across the country.
Furlough end may see Britons need to ‘retrain’ to fill jobs in ‘record worker shortage’ (Image: Getty)
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “Demand for workers remains very high across the economy and shows no signs of weakening. With businesses in the particularly squeezed food, logistics and hospitality sectors starting to gear up for Christmas, the months ahead could be difficult – even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September.”
The REC has confirmed that large numbers of people are getting into work once again. This is as restrictions lift, and the vaccination programme becomes widespread. The economy is also reconfiguring as well, which provides an extra boost to get back out there after a period of time.
However, while the struggle to find work may be eliminated due to the number of job postings, this may not be the end of the matter. The REC told Sky News many individuals could have to switch careers in order to secure a job and take advantage of the situation in the best possible way.
Furlough is finishing at the end of the month, and some individuals are still unaware of how they could be affected. Some may be kept on by their existing employers, while others may unfortunately have to be let go. The situation, for more than one million people, is still somewhat volatile in this sense.
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Mr Carberry added: “That realignment will take time, and there is good evidence to suggest that the market will remain tight for some years to come, even if the current crisis passes.”
The REC states there are some jobs which have more adverts currently posted than others. Dispensing optician adverts were up 26.4 percent last week, as well as vehicle-related occupations such as driving instructors, which were up by 12.9 percent.
On the other hand, there are some professions which are not currently in as much demand. Ambulance staff, not including paramedics, saw adverts down by 10.1 percent, with standards and regulations inspectors down 7.9 percent. Also decreased were exhibition managers and organisers, down 9.7 percent.
Businesses which are now in the position to hire staff are being encouraged to look at the plans for their workforce to truly assess the situation at hand, as it unravels over the course of the next month.
Furlough: What is furlough? (Image: EXPRESS)
Many will need to see how they can put actions into practice in order to attract the staff they desire, as well as retraining them to suit the roles they are taking on in the future.
But for those who are reticent about how their job potential could unfold after furlough comes to an end, how does one switch their career?
There are many reasons for switching careers, but the pandemic has led to a surge of this kind of choice. Work-life balance is just one of the main motivations for a career change. However, many people are unsure of how to take this leap, particularly in a time of uncertainty.
Practical planning about how to change career is likely to be a good place to start. A person could look at their interests or hobbies, things they were good at in their school days, or a topic which has always interested them in order to motivate them about the field they should select.
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Once a person has compiled a list of these ideas, they can then think about how these could potentially translate into a job, and if so, what field this role could be in. A bonus would be if the skills are in high demand at present.
Some roles may require certain qualifications or certificates in order to enter into. Britons may also wish to look at these to see if they need to boost their skillset before embarking upon their career switching journey.
Then, finally, it will be important for individuals to update their CV in this regard. Experience in other fields can be tailored to a person’s advantage to show the transferrable skills they are bringing to their new sector. Hard and soft skills demonstration can be key in pushing someone’s CV to the next level.