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Britain's top jobs for 2011

Employers are holding strong in the UK's post-recession recovery, reporting a rise in hiring intentions despite planned public sector job cuts and growing disparity between the 12 UK regions, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook for 2011. The survey reports a national seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of +2% for the first three months of 2011. This is the first improvement in 12 months following a stagnant year at +1% in 2010 and an encouraging indicator that employer hiring confidence is slowly increasing.

Skills and talent shortages

According to the latest Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs both permanent placements and temp billings were on the rise, and so are skills shortages. "As the jobs market grows, skills and talent shortages are starting to emerge," says Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC. "Changes to immigration policy could exacerbate these shortages in the short-term, so we need to build pipelines into growth sectors through better support and guidance to job-seekers and a targeted skills agenda." He also mentioned job categories that are already in short supply, including HGV drivers, engineers, IT specialists and chefs.

So which sectors are growing and where are workers needed in 2011? Take a look at the list below and maybe you will find your fit.

IT specialists
Many IT departments plan to increase staff numbers in 2011. As reported by, demand for new staff will be fuelled by growing IT areas such as project management, database administration and design, business intelligence, PC and technical support, cloud and software-as-a-service systems, network administration, virtualisation and security. However, it is possible that qualified staff will be hard to find. The IT sector is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 5.1% to 2015 and will drive employment growth, creating an additional 93,000 jobs by 2015, according to the latest Business Services Prospects report by economics consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

According to a report by the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), manufacturing in the UK is growing at its fastest pace since 1994. This growth will also lead to an increasing number of engineering jobs. Engineering is also a sector where employee skills shortages are being seen at the moment. According to Roger Tweedy, the REC's director of research, confidence is slowly increasing among private sector companies, but he warned that the government needs to focus on developing the skills needed within the UK.

Healthcare professionals
With the cap on immigration recently announced by the government, the UK healthcare sector is facing a severe skills shortage. Kate Bleasdale, executive vice chairman of medical staffing specialist Healthcare Locums, told the Recruiter that the UK is in dire need of many highly skilled professionals such as specialist nurses and midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, qualified social workers and doctors of all grades and specialties.

The new immigration ruling is also causing skills shortages in the UK restaurant sector. According to BigHospitality, especially the UK's 13,000 ethnic restaurants are suffering because they rely heavily on chefs from outside Europe. "At a time when UK hospitality is faced with a unique line up of events, like the 2012 Olympics, we need to make sure that the necessary talent is available to secure growth for the industry", said Suzanne Letting, Chair of REC Hospitality, to BigHospitality.

HGV drivers
With the economic recovery the demand of qualified drivers is growing in the UK, but they are hard to find. According to Click Liverpool, the number of qualified Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers has reached an all time low in Liverpool. Across the UK, the shortage of drivers is believed to have hit the 100,000 mark in the last 12 months. The Abeceder reports about new figures that have revealed 60 per cent of all road haulage companies are struggling to fill vacancies, while the top 100 biggest companies are suffering even more with 72 per cent having a severe shortage of drivers.

Sales Professionals
According to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), almost a third of UK companies are planning to hire more staff over the coming 12 months. This includes sales jobs in a number of sectors, as reported by BMS. The Sales Director also quotes recent data published by Orange, which indicate that 26 per cent of small to medium-sized firms, including those in the sales recruitment sector, will increase their staff in the next 12 months.

Last Updated: 22/12/2010 - 4:00 AM