A CAREERS expert has revealed how you may increase your income by up to £33,000 annually without investing any money in training.
According to the accounting firm PWC, about 25 percent of workers choose to change their employment.
And a third of all 45-54-year-olds plan to change careers before they retire, recent research by Phoenix and Ipsos found.
But for many, the thought of getting into a new field or going back to work after time out is daunting and they may not have the right qualifications.
Adrian Marsh, a careers coach and regional director of Personal Career Management, explained that as part of the government’s new ‘Midlife MOT’, you can get free training.
To qualify for a free course, you must be unemployed or earn below the National Living Wage of £20,319 a year, or not already have a Level 3 qualification.
Mr Marsh said: “You can take a Level 3 NVQ qualification for no cost, which could save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds in fees.
“These courses tend to be in vocational skills such as construction, beauty and adult care, but there are hundreds of courses to choose from.”
For example, dozens of colleges around the country offer the Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, which is often a requirement for adult carer jobs.
The course costs £1,009.99 on Learn Direct, an online training provider.
But to take via the government’s free ‘skills for life’ initiative, it will cost you nothing.
The average adult care worker is paid £33,403, according to jobs website Talent.com.
Many colleges also offer the NVQ Diploma in Plastering for free, which can help you get onto a plastering apprenticeship.
Apprentice plasterers typically earn around £12,000 a year, according to trade services website Checkatrade.
However, employed plasterers can earn around £30,600.
Mr Marsh said there are also a variety of cheap courses available if you can’t find exactly what you want for free.
He explained: “If you can’t get onto a free course, you can take a training course online or sometimes at local colleges for very cheap.
“Check sites like LinkedIn Learning to browse courses.”
Other tips for getting back into work or changing careers
Mr Marsh said if you’re not sure what you want to do, put your best skills into a jobs website such as Indeed and see what jobs it matches you with.
He said: “That will give you an idea of what you could do and narrow things down.
“If the job you want requires qualifications you don’t have, don’t let it put you off – remember there is plenty of training available to you.”
The careers expert said those with the right sort of skills but no previous job experience should create a skills-focused CV.
He said: “Write down each skill and give an example of when you’ve used it in a past job, then put your work history below.”
To find jobs, you can check online websites like Indeed or Total jobs, or go through the government’s national jobs website.
Mr Marsh also recommends ringing local employers to see if they are hiring, and to leave your details even if they aren’t.
“They may get in touch if something comes up,” he said.
He added that if you’re feeling low on confidence, you should try doing some occasional volunteer work.
“It’s generally easier to get into and may help you feel comfortable going back in a working environment. It can also be a way to build contacts and it looks good on a CV,” he said.
Most areas have a local jobs club where you can get help and support getting into work – just search for a jobs club near you on Google.
Mr Marsh said: “They’re usually free or very cheap and can be a good way to network and build contacts for the future.”