Australian employees fund their own future

Wednesday, 24 November 2010 

75 per cent of employees are willing to pay for training to stay ahead in the workforce, Kelly Global Workforce Index finds. 

Almost three-quarters of Australians are now prepared to spend their own money on upgrading their skills, instead of waiting for employers to provide training, according to the latest survey from Kelly Services. 

Employees in the engineering, business services, manufacturing, IT, and travel/leisure industries are most willing to spend their own money to upgrade their skills.  

Additionally, more than 60 per cent believe they will change their career and re-invent themselves in the future. 

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people in 29 countries, including more than 20,000 in Australia. 

Karen Colfer, Managing Director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “People are now more conscious of staying ahead of the game in both the workplace and the employment market and they realise training plays a vital role in that.

“The survey results reflect a significant shift in the post GFC market. The GFC killed the ideal of loyalty in the employee/employer relationship and today employees are reluctant to place any trust or faith with their employer. Employees are taking greater personal responsibility for managing their careers and developing new skills.” 

As part of this shift towards employees taking greater control over their careers, the survey found a growing number of Australians are developing their own personal ’employee brands’, taking steps to differentiate themselves in a fast-changing workplace. 

Personal marketing, or branding, has become a feature of the modern workplace, with respondents identifying the elements they regard as most important in building their identities – verbal communication skills (70 per cent), technical knowledge (62 per cent), résumés (61 per cent), written communications (59 per cent), personal attire (56 per cent) and use of social media (35 per cent). 

Colfer said, “We are seeing many individuals moving out of the traditional or typical employment relationship. We are seeing an increase in the amount of people actively thinking about how to promote themselves in order to make their next step happen rather than waiting for the right role to fall in their lap. 

“There is a high degree of awareness about the pace of change in the workplace. Today’s typical employee believes they have the ability to manage how this change affects them and their career.”   

Key findings include: 

  • 74 per cent of Gen X are prepared to spend their own money on training to upgrade their skills, higher than for Gen Y (72 per cent) and baby boomers (68 per cent) 
  • 71 per cent of Gen X cite verbal communication skills among the most important elements in personal branding, compared with baby boomers (69 per cent), and Gen Y (68 per cent) 
  • 68 per cent of Gen Y are ‘very optimistic’ about their ability to keep pace with technological and other changes in the workplace, higher than for Gen X (61 per cent) and baby boomers (50 per cent) 
  • 62 per cent of respondents expect to change their careers at some stage in the future, with Gen X and baby boomers (both 63 per cent) more likely than Gen Y (61 per cent) 
  •  23 per cent of respondents describe themselves as ‘very active’ in their use of social media for personal marketing, while another 34 per cent say they are ‘somewhat active’. 

Colfer believes there is a warning in the survey findings for employers. 

“Basically employers who don’t take notice of this shift in employee thinking will find themselves struggling to retain their people. An inactive employer will find proactive employers will be fielding external offers and without doubt will be enticed to move on. 

“Employers need to engage with their people to develop an understanding of what their individual career aspirations are then develop career growth opportunities that align with these individual needs. 

Group wide policies are important but will become less effective over time as this trend towards personal accountability for career development continues,” said Colfer. 


For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the
 Kelly Global Workforce Survey 


Media Contact:
For an interview with Karen Colfer or to obtain graphs relating to the survey results please contact:
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266
mct@recognition.com.au
 


About the Kelly Global Workforce Index
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 134,000 people from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific responded to the 2010 survey, including over 20,000 from Australia. Results are published on a quarterly basis. 

About Kelly Services
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a world leading providing workforce solutions.  Kelly® offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing solutions on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis.  Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually.  Revenue in 2009 was $4.3 billion.