By Daniel Hunter
The first national Job Confidence Index, which reveals the state of the nation’s work and employment prospects based on a study by ICM of over 4000 people in England shows an overall job confidence score of 51.8 out of 100.
The Index, which is based on seven pillars ranging from job and personal experience, qualifications and opportunities, reveals that while job confidence is highest in London and the South East of England, the picture across the country is a relatively consistent one, with confidence lowest in the West Midlands.
According to the data, commissioned by the National Careers Service which recently celebrated its first anniversary, 74% of the country became more job confident, or maintained the same confidence levels in their job and ability to find work over the last three months.
Backing up the nation’s confidence are figures that show three-fifths (60%) of employed people feel that it would take them less than six months to find a new job which they wanted if they were made redundant, with 38% feeling they would need less than three months.
According to the research, the mood in the jobs market has improved due to a number of factors ranging from economic recovery (42%), possessing the right work experience (42%), having the right skills and qualifications (40%) to feeling more prepared (22%) and seeing friends and family find new jobs (11%).
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "It is a sign of the rebalancing economy that many are starting to feel more confident about their job prospects. However, we need to continue to provide as many options for training as possible, so that people have the appropriate skills to find work, which will reward them and respond to business needs.
"The National Careers Service gives good guidance and encouragement for those looking to take the right steps into work and will help build a workforce that matches the requirements of the global race."
Joe Billington, Director of the National Careers Service, said: “The Job Confidence Index shows that while job confidence is heading in the right direction, there is still a way to go in ensuring people are ready to find the right job - or the next stage in their career.
“The results reflect what we see on the ground and hear in our call centres, that while people are slowly becoming more confident, we see significant numbers of people who need support and encouragement to take the right steps to a new job.”
For those unemployed and looking for work, the Index reveals an army of people working hard to try and get back into the job market.
In the last three months, 83% of unemployed people have updated their CVs, more than half have visited a Jobcentre Plus (54%) and over a third have used free online career tools offered by the National Careers Service (38%).
But in addition to the 26% who feel their confidence in their job or ability to find work has decreased in the last six months, people looking for work are especially on the look-out for help. A quarter (24%) do not feel confident about updating their CV, half (52%) would like to meet employers and 18% need more careers and jobs advice.
Joe Billington added: “People at all stages of their working life need support, encouragement and inspiration that the right advice on the right steps to take at the right time can provide.
“This is the first Index of its kind so we’ll be benchmarking results in the next quarter.”
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