We’ve all heard about the work sectors that are a bit fluey at the moment. Well they’re less ‘fluey’, more ‘coming-down-with-a-robust-case-of-Bubonic-plague’.
The high street seems to be in crisis mode – with chains like Clinton Cards, Comet and JJB sports on their last legs or closing – and the banking and insurance sector down a massive 13% since last year. Apparently print journalism and the record industry are a few years away from disappearing. Sometimes it feels like everywhere you look the media are lambasting another industry having their last death rattle. It can all be frightfully depressing.
But stop crying – there are industries that are not only surviving the economic crisis, but are actually about to thrive. In Sunday’s Guardian, Nesta's Geoff Mulgan moved way from the media’s doom-and-gloom-obsessed coverage of the unemployment crisis and, instead, outlined industries he reckons are about to experience a surge in recruitment. And we liked that. A lot. Go Geoff Mulgan!
Here are the industries Mulgan thinks you should consider working in, with a bit more information from us about how best to break into them. Put away the pity party – these industries have been given a clear bill of health and are a good bet for young people looking for work.
The Care Industry
According to Mulgan, care – and health more generally – is the first big area about to experience a massive jobs growth. At the moment it is one of the “least rewarded and lowest-status sectors of all, with most workers on zero-hour contracts (which offer no guaranteed hours, but require people to be available at short notice).” But don’t let that put you off – we have an aging population, which means that there’s likely to be a massive jobs boom in this sector over the coming years. And with salaries ranging from £18K for a personal assistant to £42K for an assistant service manager, there are very few reasons not to look into it. If you go to your local Jobcentre there are usually clued up on any Government initiatives aimed at getting young people into social and health care. There are also apprenticeships schemes, higher education courses, NVQ’s and BTEC that will give you strong academic foundations for a career in caring - find a full list at Skills For Care. And the Children’s Workforce Development Council has a new scheme which offers graduates with a 2:1 or higher £15,000 to train in social care, find all the information at Step Up To Social Work.
This might sound like an obvious area of growth, but it is really surprising how underprepared to British jobs market is for a boom in the computer industry. As Mulgan says, “Standards of maths haven't improved much in schools, and there are still too few opportunities for bright teenagers to learn how to programme and play with big data sets.” Despite this shortage, he added that an “estimated half a million jobs have been created in the US just producing apps” alone. The biggest likely areas for new jobs are in coding, programming and data manipulation and management. O2 are holding the Think Big School this Wednesday at Proud2 at the O2 arena where young people aged between 14-16 will be educated about the importance of digital skills. There are also plenty of training schemes at companies all over the country, Microsoft, for example, take on up to 40 or so graduates every year. Check out the online and classroom based courses, which you can search here, and the Open University has a course on representing and manipulating data.
Although many people view globalisation as a drain on the local jobs market, Mulgan says there is reason to believe it is working in our advantage at the moment. “Foreign-owned businesses raised their share of UK jobs from 11% in 1997 to 19% in 2010 – that's 1.6m more jobs,” he said. “As capital flows in from firms such as Tata, this trend is likely to continue. Generally it will be good for us, because these businesses also invest more in innovation and do more to drive up the quality of supply chains than British ones.” Language courses are a great place to start and German is likely to smartest language for you to take up. Cactus Language Courses UK is the leading provider of language courses in the UK, but they also list language holidays you can take to improve your chances of picking up a second language. Find out more info here.
So now you’re all clued up, which industry will you be looking into?