Last reviewed 2 September 2020

Despite the prospect of the next few months seeing increases in unemployment reaching levels not seen since the 1980s, the impact of Covid-19 seems to have left many people who still have a job thinking about a change of scene.

That, at least, is the finding of research by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC) which found almost half (44%) of workers in the financial services sector considering a career change as a result of the pandemic.

Even faced with a challenging job market, a third of workers (31%) said that they will be looking for new roles within the year.

This restlessness was not confined to the financial services sector as 46% of workers across all industries said that they would be considering new roles as a result of the pandemic.

Karim Haji, Head of Financial Services, KPMG UK, said: “As we spend more time at home away from our colleagues and offices, it makes sense that many will be questioning their current roles and choices — and what the future might hold. With so many considering a career change, financial services must take this time to promote itself positively and wipe the slate clean when it comes to the associations people make with it, if it is to be genuinely competitive for talent.”

Those associations, according to the people surveyed, would seem to include long hours (15%), long commutes (13%) and heavy regulation (9%) — all given as key factors driving the decision to look elsewhere.

Just 15% of those working in the industry listed good training as a motivator to remain, indicating, KPMG suggests, that firms in the sector are not doing enough to upskill their staff as digitisation gains pace.

Comment by Croner Associate Director Paul Holcroft

From an HR standpoint, employers in the financial sector, and across all industries in England, will likely be worried for their future in the global market post-coronavirus as the less talent they can retain, the less likely it will be that they remain competitive.

It could be that the pandemic is acting as a catalyst for change within all industries to promote the implementation of more measures to keep staff morale high, such as flexible working or even job rotations.