Changing occupations: how easy is it?

Irish GATOM report

It’s not.

But it’s particularly challenging if you are already in the work-force because training provision is generally oriented towards school-leavers and those seeking to re-join the labour market. This makes it difficult for occupational changers to acquire the necessary qualifications to change occupations.

Funded by the EU Lifelong Learning programme, the GATOM (Gearing Adult Education Towards Occupational Mobility) project examined the experiences of labour market participants who wish to change occupations — particularly those who need to up-skill in order to do so — with the adult vocational education and training sector.

Implications for policy-makers and education/training providers

The results of the project indicate that policy-makers and adult education/training providers need to develop more flexible responses to today’s increasingly mobile work-force.

Key recommendations centred on improving the flow of information to occupation changers, developing structures to recognise their prior experiences and qualifications and providing vocational education and training courses at times and locations to suit to their particular needs.

The project also identified good practice approaches in relation to providing education/training programmes to occupational changers.