If you work in the engineering or science sectors in the UK then there's a strong chance you're already aware that your skills are in demand. The latest Kelly Global Workforce Index shows that two thirds of engineers and over half of scientists believe their experience and skill-sets are highly sought after. So it came as little surprise to find that over 70% had applied for a new job in the last year, with around half frequently think about quitting their current job. It also uncovered low levels of engagement, with up to 40% feeling less loyal to their employer than a year earlier, and more than half feeling undervalued.
What's going wrong? It looks like employers have themselves to blame as the research found that 65% have not had a career development discussion over the last year, and only half of those fortunate enough to have a review saw it as really beneficial. As a consequence only a third in the engineering sector, and less than a quarter in the science sector, now believes they have clear career options with their current employer.
Career development isn’t purely advancement through promotion, in fact an overwhelming 70% prioritised learning new skills over moving to a higher level. However, barely 30% are satisfied with the career development support currently being offered by employers and many in the engineering and science community are now taking responsibility for their own career development. A third reported sourcing and financing their own training, and a similar proportion are investing five or more hours a week in networking and establishing connections for new opportunities, primarily using social media sites.
So what needs to be done to create satisfying career development opportunities? Should employers be talking to you more regularly about your career? Should they be supporting you to develop new skills? Or do you believe it's your responsibility to take ownership for your own career development and skills enhancement? Or in a candidate driven market maybe you are looking to build your skills portfolio by changing jobs?
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