Retraining is no instant fix

Retraining is no instant fix

Recently, there was some hoo-hah around a Government campaign that suggested the unemployed should look at retraining for an alternative career.

Whilst the thought behind the adverts probably wasn’t as controversial as the public perceived it to be, the campaign came under ferocious attack. Angry ex-employees rallied against the government, calling on them to spend more time providing support to sectors that are suffering rather than making daft suggestions, such as ‘you should change career’.

Fatima the ballet dancer—the main subject of the public’s outcry against the government’s message to retrain—may not choose to work in cyber security, as her particular advert suggested. This probably won’t be down to a lack of work as much as ballet being her life’s calling. She will have trained for the role of ballet dancer since she could walk. Whilst the government may think it’s easy to let go of such sacrifice and dedication to do something completely different, the general public clearly didn’t agree.

There’s no doubt that some industries will take years to recover from the impact of this virus. Hospitality, the travel and leisure industries, and the arts have been amongst those hardest hit during 2020.

Because few people have many years’ worth of savings or a trust fund to fall back on, and because bills still need to be paid, some of those made redundant have subsequently taken jobs in completely different industries—as a short-term measure, that is, not necessarily as a new career direction.

As we progress through the second national lockdown, many people aren’t thinking about their career in the long-term, they’re simply focusing on surviving in the here and now.

Here at Fast Recruitment Websites, we specialise in recruitment website design.We’re based in Doncaster, which was already a Tier 3 area; therefore, the national lockdown won’t drastically affect our business. Designing attractive, effective sites specifically for recruiters and recruitment agencies, to better promote their services and streamline their offering, we exist in a sector that’s acutely busy at the moment. We’re an established business that knows its niche inside out, and which has years of experience doing what it does best. 


Some people have turned to freelancing following redundancy, rather than taking a job they’re not interested in or retraining. This could have been intentional, i.e. it’s something they’ve always wanted to do, but they were afraid of making the leap and 2020 has forced their hand. Or their decision could have stemmed from desperation if they were unable to secure another job. Even roles that, historically, few people want to do are attracting huge numbers of applicants.

The gig economy was certainly robust before the pandemic; however, as more and more freelancers flood the market, the quality of the work produced within a certain sector could potentially be diluted. For example, if someone has worked for a large corporation doing a specific role within a much longer process, they may not be able to provide the ‘full package’ to a client. Corners may be cut, abilities may be bluffed, and end results could prove to be lacking. In this scenario, price is the only factor on which they can compete with established businesses and freelancers; clients with little money to play with—because the virus has also affected their finances—put up with poor quality and end up perpetuating a downward spiral that eventually affects the whole sector.

It can take years to gain the necessary qualifications for a certain role, and even more time to gather relative experience.

You really do get what you pay for

A website that is cheap and cheerful may satisfy your bank balance, but it won’t do much for your business. The perception that potential clients/leads will have of your company may be a negative one if the site is slow to load, if it looks amateurish, or it’s difficult to navigate. A good, effective website is a bit like a swan: it’s all grace and elegance on the front end, but behind the scenes and under the proverbial water there will be endless streams of code whirring away, making things happen when and where they’re supposed to.

Retraining may be where we’re all headed…eventually

A recent report, based on analysis by McKinsey, suggests that 26 million workers will need to upskill or retrain within the next decade. They believe the pandemic is only speeding up what was inevitable anyway, as technology and innovation naturally change the face of practically every industry.

Given that many businesses added an e-commerce arm to their offering during 2020, in order to continue trading when the country shut down, online sales pertaining to every sector have surged. Consumers’ buying habits have turned digital. Experts claim that this was always going to happen, the pandemic just brought forward what was forecast.

An uncertain future makes people uncomfortable

Long-term, if retraining to work in an industry that can operate whatever gets thrown at it helps people to plan their future and feel in control, that may be reason enough to do so. We’re still living through the pandemic and even more seismic changes could be ahead. Can we really plan anything until this is all over?

In the short-term, it’s human nature that people will do what they need to in order to survive. Freelancing can be one way to fill gaps between jobs—or even careers. Whilst this is great news for the freelancer, it’s not necessarily as advantageous for clients, for other businesses, or the industry in question.

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