The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and CareerJunction released a joint report detailing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on jobs in South Africa, with large numbers of workers saying they would retrain to work in a field different.
In South Africa, interest in developing new skills is highest among early and mid-career people, as 40% of those surveyed report a negative impact on their work due to the effect of Covid -19 on employment, including a reduction in working time or dismissal, against the average of 36% of global respondents.
Highly educated South Africans and the older generation are the groups most negatively affected in terms of Covid-19 and its effect on their employment status – which is the exact opposite of the global trend, BCG said .
“The pandemic and the increasing speed of technological disruption have made people question their chosen career path,” said Rainer Strack, one of the study’s authors and senior associate at BCG.
“Almost seven out of ten people say they are open to a retraining that would allow them to move on to completely different functions. This level of flexibility could help employers and governments concerned with preparing their workforces for the future. “
A movement towards more stable fields
Digital and IT are high on the list of potential next careers – likely due to perceived growing opportunities in these fields and the generally high pay.
More than 20% of people currently working in artistic or creative professions say they retrain for a digital profession, as do more than 20% of people currently working in consulting or the media.
Clerical and managerial jobs (like marketing and human resources) are also seen as attractive next career steps, perhaps due to the perceived ease of transition to these jobs for a variety of workers.
The report shows that workers are already taking steps to improve their skills.
“71% of workers in South Africa spend a lot of time learning, which is slightly more than 65% of global respondents,” said Rudi van Blerk, senior director and director of recruiting for the Boston Consulting Group in Johannesburg.
“The learning of the younger generation is similar in South Africa to global trends.
“However, learning is more prevalent in the older generation compared to their global counterparts, with 74% of South African respondents aged 51 to 60 and 60% of respondents over 60 spending considerable time to learn. This is higher than the global average of 54% and 53% respectively. “
Data shows that the approach to learning has also evolved, however, and South Africans’ use of mobile apps as a learning resource has increased by almost 100% compared to 2018 from 50. % in the world.
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