Almost two-thirds of female workers in Britain (65%) would consider training or retraining for a new career, according to new research from Oxford Open Learning Trust.

The YouGov survey of over 2,000 adults, commissioned to launch the new Profession Picker tool, found that many women are willing to retrain in order to get a foot in the door of a new job.

Almost a quarter of female workers (24%) would consider training or retraining up to a year for their new role, while over one in 10 (12%) would train for up to two years for a new career.

The results showed that moving into a different job role may be on the cards for many women, as over a quarter of female workers are considering a career change in the next ten years (27%). Over one in ten (11%) of workers are planning to move within the next year.

Among female workers, most respondents said working hours (57%) followed by location (49%) were important factors when choosing their current job role. However, when it came to choosing a new career or job role, two-thirds (66%) of female workers chose salary as an important factor – suggesting that monetary incentives are key for choosing a new career.

Top 5 priorities for female workers in their current job role:

  1. Working Hours (57%)
  2. Location (49%)
  3. Salary (47%)
  4. Personal Interest/Enjoyment (42%)
  5. Job Security (34%)

Top 5 priorities for female workers considering a career change:

  1. Salary (66%)
  2. Working Hours (64%)
  3. Personal Interest/Enjoyment (52%)
  4. Location (52%)
  5. Job Security (38%)

The desire for a better salary seems to pay off for those who decide to take the leap into a new career, with over a third of female workers who have ever had a career change (34%) saying their salary increased a year of making the move.

Some 14% of women workers who changed career said their salary increased between £1,000 and £4,999 a year after changing careers, compared to 12% of men reporting the same increase in income.

Distance learning provider Oxford Open Learning Trust created the Profession Picker tool to help adults thinking about a career change. Each year, the Trust serves learners that might need an extra qualification such as a GCSE or A Level in order to get their desired job and start a new career.

Martia Moore swapped a successful career with social services: “In 2009 I was working for social services on the child protection team. I was at the top of my game after working my way up the ranks.The country was headed for a recession and, although I was passionate about my job, cuts that were being made to the service was leaving me with my hands tied trying to support the families I worked with.

“Stress levels were so high that great wage I received was being squandered on weekend breaks and nights out. It might sound idyllic but it was all an escape from the place I spent most of my time – work.

“I started looking up university courses and before I knew it I had applied for a degree in exercise physical activity and health; my other passion in life helping people get healthy through exercise and nutrition.

“I handed my notice in and then reality hit me, how was I going to fund all this? Looking back now, I had no idea I just knew that I had to change something for the sake of my own health and well-being.

“Starting university in a recession was not easy. I learned to survive on beans on toast and worked part time to support myself. I did notice, however, that because I had so much invested in changing career I put 100% into assignments, always showed up on time and drank in the knowledge provided to me. This was a totally different me from the 20 year old that went to university and partied my way through it.

“On completion of my degree, I set about to become a dietician. which was what I had planned. However, government cuts meant that the next stage to that career was not an option at that time. There were only 13 places on the course and they were very sought after.

“So, with no job and bills to be paid an idea popped into my head. There was a way round this. I could not be a dietician but with my last year specialising in special population groups and nutrition I could set up my own business in fitness.

Lotus Fitness Academy was born. The academy was set up as a whole body approach to getting people active through boot camps, nutritional advice and mind-set. Those that attended soon bonded and formed a strong support group for each other, taking on board the help I delivered. Their results were amazing and more people wanted to be part of the team.

“At first it was really difficult for me, I had to do all the work myself take on many roles and continue my learning to become the expert I am today. The journey however has been unbelievable. We also cater for corporate fitness and before school clubs as well as the original academy. I have a staff team who are dedicated and loyal.

“I was also accredited Fit Pro Hero 2015, which is the governing body of fitness professionals.Changing career was not an easy option but it’s by far the best decision I have ever made; my life is amazing. I don’t feel like I work at all because I love what I do and the benefits are pouring in now.”

Dr Nick Smith, Courses Director and founder of Oxford Open Learning Trust, at Oxford Open Learning Trust says: “Women are considering moving careers for an enhanced salary and to do something they have a personal interest in. More women see job security and better working hours as a key factor in a new job role and they are willing to retrain in order to get their foot in the door.”

To use the Profession Picker tool visit:

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