Work is running dry in some sectors, but the UK's trade skills shortage could be your opportunity to bounce back.
A striking headline in the 19th July edition of The Sunday Times reads: "Work's running dry as 484 people apply for two precious pub vacancies".
This is followed by another startling stat: "£9-an-hour post triggers a stampede of highly qualified applicants".
But the numbers aren't the only noteworthy part of this story. Just as remarkable were the types of applicants one bar owner was hearing from before he pulled his job advert after only five days.
The Sunday Times article reported that former air stewards, restaurant managers and experienced shop workers - all recently made redundant - were among the hundreds of applicants, whereas normally pub and restaurant owners would expect to receive a dozen or so replies from youngsters with limited experience.
Up and down the country, the story is the same: employers are reporting a stampede of applications for entry-level roles that they would normally struggle to fill. One manager said:
"The quality of people looking for work right now is as good as it ever has been. Unfortunately it's because of the situation people have found themselves in."
Worringly, this could just be the tip of the iceberg - the government's furlough scheme may be giving many workers a false sense of normality right now, but according to some reports, a larger wave of unemployment could hit the UK very soon.
But ask yourself: do you need to take a backward step if this happens to you? Or could this be your opportunity to train for a different career - something you'll find truly rewarding?
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Losing your job can be a scarring experience, but before you join the throng of people currently applying for entry-level work in bars and pubs, ask yourself: wouldn't it be more fulfilling to retrain and join an industry that's currently crying out for new workers?
In all likelihood, you've amassed considerable transferable life skills over the years, so why not make the change and become a professional tradesperson? Most think it's a bridge too far - that it's somehow beyond them, an unknown area of employment - but others see the opportunity in front of them and never look back.
The decision to change career is already being forced on many people. Will you seize the moment, discover your entrepreneurial spirit, use your life experience to your advantage, and start something new and rewarding?
"I did a course with these guys [Access Training Academies]...since I passed last year, I decided to go on my own. The phone hasn't stopped ringing since, and I'm at the point now where I have employed two extra guys."
- James Mummery, Professional Electrical Course
Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.
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