More than half of Scottish workers plan to make changes to their careers amid pandemic

More than half of Scottish workers plan to make changes to their careers as a result of the pandemic, according to a new survey by insurance giant Aviva.

The 53 per cent figure is an increase of five percentage points since July, when a similar poll was conducted.

The research, conducted as part of the firm’s latest “How We Live” report, reveals that changes range from the relatively minor, such as learning new skills or gaining further qualifications, to switching to an entirely new career path.

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The proportion of workers intending to find a completely different vocation has increased from 6 per cent last summer to 10 per cent, while those planning to set up their own business has risen from 4 per cent to 6 per cent.

Some people will have been forced to look for a new career amid the economic fallout from the pandemic.
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Meanwhile, the desire to work from home in Scotland is lower than the rest of the UK. The proportion of would-be homeworkers is lowest north of the Border, where just 5 per cent plan to find a role which will accommodate home-working. This compares to 16 per cent of workers in London.

Gareth Hemming, managing director, personal lines at Aviva said: “As the pandemic has continued, an increasing number of people have given thought to what they want from their careers and now more than half of Scottish workers would like to make changes to their working lives.

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“The extent of these changes varies: in some instances people want more flexibility, such as the ability to work from home, while others wish to change their career paths completely.”

The survey of some 4,000 UK adults found that the under 25-year-olds are most likely to want to make changes to their work plans in the next few years as a result of the pandemic and are more likely than any other age group to work from home.

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One in seven respondents over 55 said the virus crisis has brought forward their retirement plans, while around one in 12 said they hope to turn a hobby into a career.

Hemming added: “For those who plan to become home-workers, it’s always sensible to check that they have suitable cover for their circumstances.

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“A standard home insurance policy may not be adequate if someone wishes to run a business from their home, particularly if they have stock on site or customers visiting their property.”

In a separate report today by Royal Bank of Scotland, it emerged that hiring activity across Scotland rose markedly last month.

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The bank’s latest Report on Jobs found that permanent staff appointments increased at the steepest rate since late-2018, while the latest upturn in temporary billings was the strongest for 28 months, as firms upped their hiring efforts in line with more favourable economic conditions.

However, panellists quizzed for the report noted that uncertainty had made people wary of switching roles. As a result, pay pressures strengthened, as a lack of available candidates induced a greater degree of competition among employers.

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A fourth straight monthly rise in average salaries awarded to permanent new joiners across Scotland was recorded in March.

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