New Research Findings: Three-Quarters of Employees are Thinking About Making a Total Career Change

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But they don't necessarily turn to the most appropriate sources for advice. The study reveals that 75 per cent of employees think about making a total career change "all the time", "quite often" or "sometimes". But, when it comes to seeking career advice, people are not necessarily turning to the right sources - citing friends and family, work colleagues, or the Internet as their preferred suppliers of careers information, advice and guidance.

The research was undertaken by One Poll on behalf of Skills for Health and the NHS Careers Service - joint partners in the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line (HLSAL) with the Careers Advice Service. 2,648 employees took part - from across a broad range of industries and sectors.

Whilst over 80 per cent of those surveyed claim that it is important for them to have a fulfilling career, 41 per cent say they feel unfulfilled working in their current industry sector.
Encouragingly for the healthcare sector, it ranks third as a sector people would most like to work in (after the creative sector and the broadcast industry). Those already working in healthcare also rank themselves as more fulfilled than do those working in other industries.

One of the most effective ways for people to check whether a career change might be appropriate is for them is to chat to expert, trained advisors manning relevant industry-specific careers advice lines. However, only three per cent of those questioned would consider taking this route.

When asked whether in the past they had ever used an advice line for information, advice and guidance about their careers and/or to find out about training and development opportunities, a worrying 88 per cent said "no" and 68 per cent said they would be unlikely to do so in the future.

Conversely, more than half of the employees questioned (54 per cent) agree that advice lines are an easy way to obtain correct information.

Commenting on the findings, Paula Hardwick, partnership and propositions manager at the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line said:

"It's concerning to find how many people are missing out on expert advice by not making the most of the services and resources available through careers advice lines. Family, friends and colleagues may be well meaning, but they are not necessarily well informed. Similarly, whilst there are a number of useful websites available, not all of them are impartial and the information they provide may be inaccurate or out-of-date.

"In contrast, advice lines such as ours are staffed by highly trained individuals who are experts in their field. Calls are free and confidential and personal information is never shared."

When people were asked what prevents them from turning to expert advice lines for career information, advice and guidance, the top five answers were:

1.    Lack of confidence in the quality of the advice being given.
2.    Cost of the call.
3.    Concern that the advice given will be too impersonal
4.    Lack of time.
5.    Concern regarding the security of personal information.

Paula Hardwick continued:

"Clearly we have a job to do in communicating the wealth of help and information that advice lines have to offer and in reassuring people with concerns about using advice lines that their fears are unfounded."

The Health Learning and Skills Advice Line provides careers information, advice and guidance to support people who work in, or are considering a career in healthcare. Free, expert, independent and confidential, the service is run by the Careers Advice Service and covers the whole of the healthcare sector - encompassing the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. Visit for further information or call 08000 150 850.

Notes to editors

The research took place online over a four-week period during the spring and summer of 2008. 4,488 people responded of whom 2,648 are employed. 58 per cent of respondents were female and 42 per cent were male. Respondents were also invited to classify their status: 8 per cent classed themselves as students; 20 per cent as housewives/househusbands; 8 per cent as unemployed; 5 per cent as retired; and 59 per cent as in work (across a variety of industry sectors).

About the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line (HLSAL)

Run by the Careers Advice Service and supported by NHS Careers and Skills for Health, the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line provides careers information, advice and guidance to support people who work in - or are considering a career in - healthcare. The service is manned by friendly, trained advisers who offer free, expert, impartial and confidential advice on training and careers in the healthcare sector. Callers can access HLSAL on 08000 150 850. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.

Media contact:
Louise Jaggs, Skills for Health
+44 (0)1242 257770
+44 (0)7712 011246
louise @
14th October 2008


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