2021 registrant survey: The future of the optical workforce in the UK

Following the publication of our registrant survey in 2021, we commissioned further work to analyse the findings relating to the future of the optical workforce.  

The report presents detailed analysis of two questions:  

  • Thinking about the last 12 months, to what extent are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your role/job? 
  • Have you considered making any of the following changes to your career over the next 12-24 months (e.g. gain additional qualifications/skills, switch to locum work, leave the profession)? 

The additional analysis provides interesting and useful insight and the numbers have been scaled up to offer an approximation of the number of registrants who may have answered in a particular way, which allows us to better understand what the optical workforce in the UK may look like in the future. We also believe it will be useful for optical sector bodies for purposes such as workforce planning.  

Most registrants (58% / approx. 17,000) said they were satisfied in their current role however there is a considerable proportion who are dissatisfied, which appears to be driving them towards future plans including leaving the profession, reducing their hours, taking a career break, or switching to locum work.  

The subgroup analysis of these results has highlighted which areas of the registrant population may be more or less likely to be satisfied and to plan for certain actions in the future.  

Our plan is to ask these questions in future registrant surveys (scheduled for 2022 and 2023) to track any changes in opinion and behaviour over time. We will also consider whether it would be useful to ask additional follow up questions related to workforce planning. The online survey was conducted by Enventure Research, an independent research company. 

Read the full 'Additional workforce analysis' report.