Covid 19: Survey reveals 1 in 4 Kiwis plan to upskill for post-Covid work

Kiwis are boosting their employability more than ever before with 1 in 4 planning to upskill in the next six to 12 months, according to a new study.

A recent survey by financial comparison site Finder found 25 per cent of respondents wanted to pick up some form of study within the year.

That’s almost one million New Zealanders looking to boost their knowledge and skills by the end of 2021, said Kevin McHugh of Finder.

Of the 2001 Kiwis surveyed, 14 per cent wanted to change careers and 7 per cent wanted to upskill because of the fear of unemployment.

The remaining 4 per cent who planned to retrain and upskill had lost their jobs during the pandemic.

The latest Statistics NZ figures show the unemployment rate is 4 per cent in New Zealand.

Just this week travel agency Flight Centre announced it would cut 160 jobs and close 23 stores around the country.

The industry was one of the hardest-hit by Covid-19 with flights cancelled and borders closed.

Many of those who lost jobs were from the travel and hospitality industries.

McHugh said New Zealand was in the middle of a coronavirus skills boom.

“Thousands of Kiwis are planning to take up new skills as they look to land new roles or carve out a new career path,” he said.

McHugh said that upskilling was a smart way to adapt in the age of Covid-19.

“Expanding your skillset is a strategic way to navigate a recession, as it enhances your personal and professional position.

“In the short term, it keeps people busy when they may not be travelling or socialising as much.

“In the long term, it can have a positive effect on people’s earnings and employability.”

The research also found 1 in 5 New Zealanders were not sure about upskilling and another 55 per cent had no plans to upskill in the next year.

Women were more likely to invest in education and training over the next six to 12 months with 27 per cent planning on upskilling.

This compared to 22 per cent of men who had plans to study.

Millennials were leading the charge with 41 per cent upskilling compared to just 18 per cent of the older Generation X.

Almost 1 in 10 (8 per cent) of the nation’s youngest employees, Gen Z, were upskilling because they had lost their jobs.

“Many young people work in the service industries most impacted by Covid-19, so upskilling can improve their prospects of finding a new job and staying ahead of the pack.

“The knock-on effect is a workforce with a more diverse skillset, which is good for the economy in uncertain times.

“The trend could be a significant factor in how households recover from the recession,” McHugh said.

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