Finding a job in the UK can be challenging, especially if you’re unsure what you want to do. Some jobs seem to be in high demand right now, as we are coming off the back of Brexit and recovering from the Covid pandemic.
The UK economy has been going through some considerable changes, which means that fewer jobs are available in some industries. It does, however, also mean that some jobs are incredibly short-staffed and are crying out for workers. This article will give you a list of nine jobs that are currently more in demand than others across the country.
Last year saw recruiters face one of the worst crises in 20 years, with the Recruitment and Employment Confederation claiming that there were over 1.5 million job vacancies in August. The rise in vacancies was said to be due to growing confidence amongst companies, relating to the country overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to a hiring spree.
The rise has also been put down to the national lockdowns and isolation protocols which has meant many workers have had to stay home, and the progression of Brexit, which has meant many European Workers have had to return to their countries of origin, leaving behind thousands of vacant positions.
1. Lorry Drivers
A Road Haulage Association survey estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK. The shortage of HGV drivers is due to a combination of Covid, Brexit and other factors. As travel became increasingly restricted last year and large parts of the economy shut down, many European drivers went home and now, due to Brexit, cannot return. The decline in European drivers meant it was increasingly important to produce our own. However, the pandemic also created a significant backlog in HGV driver tests, so getting new drivers up and running has been difficult.
Research conducted by the National Care Forum and Outstanding Managers Network concluded that nearly a fifth of job posts for carers are vacant, while two-thirds of care providers had either stopped or limited services, and some were forced to hand contracts back to local councils.
The government’s vaccine mandate for care home workers has led to substantial staff shortages in the care industry; about 50,000 care home staff had not been fully vaccinated in England as of November 11th 2021 and could not work.
A huge recruitment drive in other sectors such as hospitality has also impacted the care industry as many workers have opted to take on roles in these areas rather than considering careers as carers.
The shortage of healthcare workers in the UK has been well documented for quite some time. But the need for nurses has only accelerated over the past two years. The global pandemic has severely impacted healthcare all over the world.
A report by the Health Foundation in December 2020 stated that the government will need to exceed its target of 50,000 new nurses in England by 2024/25 if it wants the NHS to recover from the coronavirus pandemic fully. Before the coronavirus pandemic, there was already a shortage of around 50,000 nurses in the UK, and the healthcare system is nowhere near bridging that gap. This is another area where the loss of European citizens is thought to be playing a large role.
After months of enforced closures, hospitality venues are pleased to reopen to the public finally but the easing of coronavirus restrictions has brought a fresh set of challenges. While the customers have returned, many staff members haven’t – leaving the hospitality industry, and in particular, restaurants recruiting chefs, struggling with a severe staffing shortage.
Although all hospitality areas are struggling to recruit, from waiters and waitresses to bartenders, it’s in the kitchen that restaurants face the biggest problem. In an industry that has long relied on EU migrants, the combination of Covid and Brexit has led to a lack of applicants to fill back-of-house vacancies.
5. Programmers / Software Developers
One sector which the coronavirus pandemic has not negatively impacted is the tech industry; tech jobs have rarely been more in demand. Data compiled for the UK government’s digital economy council suggests that the industry is recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at a rapid pace. In fact, software developers and programmers have seen demand for their services spike as more businesses have been forced to operate online due to the covid pandemic, the need for professionals to build and run their websites has grown enormously. Over 10% of all UK job vacancies are thought to be in the technology sector.
6. Nursery / Primary School Staff
Nursery and primary school staff are two more professions with shortages that have been well documented for quite some time. For years it has been said that England has a dramatic shortage of early years teachers; in 2018, the figure was estimated to be around 11,000 short of requirements.
Since then, the recruitment of teachers has been slow and complex; with most active teachers carrying out their roles from home for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic, there has been little opportunity to bring new starters on board. This, combined with the number of teachers staying at home, isolating or shielding, has hit the education sector hard, leaving a massive hole in the market for prospective teachers.
A survey carried out by the British Cleaning Council has shown severe staff shortages in the cleaning and hygiene industry, as vacancy numbers have increased dramatically. The shortages have primarily been attributed to a combination of Brexit migration laws and Covid-19 forcing migrant workers to leave the UK and not allowing them to return. Recruiters in the cleaning and hygiene industry have found that UK nationals are choosing to fill vacancies for roles such as HGV drivers instead of working as cleaners, and have put this down to the fact that other industries are receiving Government assistance that the cleaning industry is not.
Skilled roles such as carpenters are also in demand. The UK construction workforce is ageing, with over 20% of tradespeople being over fifty and 15% in their sixties. Having an older and experienced workforce can be great; however, as these skilled workmen retire, the same percentage of young people are not entering these professions.
An ageing population is not the only obstacle hindering those in the carpentry profession; it is abundantly clear that the availability of building materials stands out as a critical problem following the covid-19 pandemic.
9. Sales Assistants
As the coronavirus pandemic eases, retailers are beginning to resume trading. They are looking to get back on track now that all Covid-19 restrictions have ceased within the retail sector, but they’re currently facing a new challenge: staff shortages. Considering so many retail staff were left without jobs during multiple national lockdowns that forced non-essential businesses to close their doors, it is surprising that retailers are struggling to find new workers.
Shortages are mainly being put down to Brexit laws prohibiting migrant workers from taking up vacant positions, causing problems for an industry that has traditionally relied on EU workers to make up a significant portion of its workforce. Another unfortunate reason for the shortages is that many people no longer want to work in the industry due to long hours, low pay, risk of being on the front line during Covid and job uncertainty and insecurity.
The Embracing Future Potential network has a range of specialist job boards that each tailor to a unique class of jobseeker to help you find the right job for you, including sites dedicated to students / graduates, apprentices, and people with disabilities, as well as people from diverse backgrounds and those looking to change career. Contact us to find out more information.