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Many workers willing to reskill to shift careers

April 3, 2021

Nearly six in 10 (57 per cent) of Canadian workers are willing to reskill to get into a new career.

More women (60 per cent) say that they’d reskill given the opportunity compared to men (54 per cent), and those working part-time are more likely to reskill (62 per cent) compared to those working full-time (56 per cent), according to a Lighthouse Labs survey.

Also, 83 per cent of LGBTQ Canadians, 80 per cent of Black Canadians, 74 per cent of Indigenous people and 69 per cent of people of colour would reskill given the opportunity.

“We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the career trajectories of Canadian workers, and even more so among those that have been in the same industry for many years,” says Jeremy Shaki, CEO and founder of Lighthouse Labs. “With ongoing advancements in technology, Canadians deserve access to reskilling opportunities. In turn, this will help to create a healthier Canadian workforce and a stronger economy.”

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of Canadians say the pandemic has led them to consider a job or career change, according to a recent survey.

Salary considerations

While increase in salary is an incentive in changing careers, 18 per cent of Canadians say they wouldn’t need an increase at all to make the change, finds Lighthouse.

Meanwhile, 80 per cent of Canadian women and 86 per cent of men say they would need an increase in pay to reskill. One in five would need an increase between $10,000 to $20,000 to reskill and 26 per cent say they’d have to make over $40,000 more a year to change career paths.

More than a quarter (29 per cent) of full-time employees say they’d need an increase of $40,000 or more in salary to reskill, compared with 15 per cent of part-time employees. Sixteen per cent of part-time employees say they’d need an increase of up to $10,000 in salary to reskill, compared with six per cent of full-time employees. Meanwhile

Among those who are unable or unwilling to shift careers, 41 per cent says it’s because of the loss of income. Full-time employees (44 per cent) are more likely to say that lack of income caused by taking a program is holding them back, compared to part-time workers (32 per cent).

Also, 36 per cent of Canadians cite their fear of starting from scratch as reason for staying put.

The future

Meanwhile, 36 per cent of Canadians say that they’re not prepared for a career that involves digital literacy, automation, tech skills, or coding.

This is most common LGBTQ members (90 per cent), Black Canadians (80 per cent), Indigenous people (80 per cent) and people of colour (67 per cent), saying their education has not prepared them for a digital workforce.

Nearly three-quarters of those working in professional services (73 per cent) and arts and entertainment (73 per cent) don’t feel they are prepared for the future of work, finds the survey.

While workers are eager to improve their digital skills, only 40 per cent have successfully done so amid the pandemic, according to a report from PwC.

More Canadian women (40 per cent) say that they aren’t prepared compared to Canadian men (33 per cent).