The UK’s economic future looks bright, but in what sectors do the employees of the future work?
George Osborne confirmed in his March budget that the UK economy is finally regaining its strength after years of recession. Britain’s GDP is expected to rise by 2.7% in 2014 according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, while Big Four auditor PwC estimates the UK will remain the fastest growing major European economy in 2014. This is even achieving above pre-recession levels from the fourth quarter of this year.
Whether you are a graduate or school leaver, looking for a career change or to establish your own enterprise, it is important to identify the industries showing the brightest signs of growth, employment and stability. Based on a collection of predictions for the UK, here are the ten most promising sectors to be a part of in the future
1. Arts/Creative Industries
The video games industry has joined already established heavyweights such as the film, television and music businesses, in providing some of the highest employment numbers in the country. Expansion in the creative industries outstripped the UK economy as a whole in 2011-12, where the figure was 0.7%. It is the UK’s fastest-growing sector, worth £71.4bn a year and making up 5.6% of the workforce, the Department for Media, Culture and Sport said.
Despite being around for many years, online education providers like AAT are in the ascendency, particularly attracting part-time workers or students put off by expensive university tuition fees. The government’s Online Learning Task Force has even recommended an investment of £100 million in online education to improve accessibility for more users.
3. IT and communications
Companies across virtually every sector are establishing dedicated IT departments and trying to integrate digital communications into their workplace. Due to this, computer professionals with strong skills in programming and systems analysis are in high demand. The British Computer Society says the UK economy needs at least 150,000 new entrants each year simply to meet demand.
4. Energy Professionals
In the past 18 months, renewable energy has become a high priority for the UK with the Government proposing the investment of £40bn at the end of 2013. The Government aims to double the amount of electricity generated from renewables from 15 per cent to over 30 per cent by 2020, requiring greater resources and more skilled workers to support the industry.
5. Auto Engineering
The automotive Industry is the UK’s largest export sector and it looks set to grow even more. The Government promised to pump £50 million into the car industry over the next three years, encouraging manufacturers from abroad to build in the UK. To create a pipeline of talent, £1bn will be spent over ten years to develop the new Advanced Propulsion Centre, providing at 30,000 jobs.
With more people expected to live longer aided by the expansion of new medical technologies and treatments in coming years, the pressure on health resources will be intensified. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of people living in the UK aged 100 or over increased by 73% in the decade to 2012. Additionally, the Barclays Job Creation Survey found some 62 per cent of UK healthcare companies plan to create new jobs (from technical to administrative) in the next 12 months.
Recent banking scandals have made the financial sector a constant subject in daily newspapers. This highlights the demand for quality auditing, financial analysis and advising in preventing such mistakes being made again. Equally, confidence among financial professionals about their career prospects seems to have boosted. The Reed finance 2013 salary and market insight report showed that the jobs market has grown for the third successive year, with 32% more positions on offer than in January 2010.
8. Social Care
Cuts of around £2.7bn to services, rising workloads and shortened timescales, have led to warnings from the Association of Directors of Children’s Services that child protection services in England are under more pressure than ever. However, with many older workers leaving positions and governments aiming to provide special incentives and initiatives to support social welfare, opportunities are vast for aspiring social workers.
9. Tourism and Hospitality
Hospitality and tourism is emerging as one the UK’s fastest growing job creators. During the first half of 2013, Britain attracted over 15 million tourists, up 4% growth over previous years. Research from sector skills council, People 1st, shows that the industry is still in need of around 638,000 highly skilled workers by 2017 of which 69,000 are managerial posts.
10. Construction and property
Bouncing back from the effects of the financial crisis, the construction industry in the UK has shown tremendous growth since early 2013. Civil engineering is a particularly high performing area of construction. The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has shown that confidence within the sector about the months ahead is at its highest level for more than seven years. This is supported by strong orders and an increasing number of invitations to tender. Helped by local authority spending, it experienced its fastest rate of expansion this February since the survey began in April 1997.
If you’ve got a head for numbers and are interested in working in finance then you can find out more about AAT qualifications here.
Jermaine Haughton is a journalist and digital media professional.