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10 Growing Jobs … Despite the Economy

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins for

You may think that all this doom and gloom regarding the state of the current jobs market means that every industry is making cutbacks and we should all be content with what we have, thereby dismissing any thought of looking for another job. Think again. There are a number of jobs that are experiencing a growing demand for suitable candidates despite the recession.

Here are our top 10:

1. Human resources managers

With the number of redundancies expecting to top 1 million by the end of 2010, human resource professionals are bucking the grim economic conditions by continuing to remain in high demand. From HR administrators earning around £19,000 to HR directors taking home anything between £90,000-200,000 a year (CIPD), the market for HR professionals is extremely buoyant.

2. Construction workers

Despite a slowdown in the UK housing market, jobs in construction and engineering (civil in particular) are still very much in demand with the industry expanding by 17 per cent, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Indeed, the construction industry as a whole is benefiting on two key fronts. First, the UK faces a chronic skills shortage which ensures that demand continues to be high — particularly in the South East and London with a number of ambitious projects earmarked for the 2012 London Olympics. And second, there is a significant shortage of housing in the country. All of this means that salaries will undoubtedly see further increases throughout 2009 as employers seek to attract and retain the best engineers. The average construction worker will earn between £24,662 and £35,586 (ONS).

3. Public relations professionals

With marketing budgets being slashed across the board, organisations are increasingly turning to public relations consultancies as an alternative to traditional forms of media communication such as advertising and direct mail. As companies look to maximise their return on investment, demand for highly effective public relations professionals is at an all-time high with a spate of top executives being poached by rival organisations — as the front pages of PR Week will testify. PR executives will typically earn £24,948 (ONS) whereas communications directors earn anything over and above £50,000 (PR Week Annual Salary Survey).

4. Teachers

Of all the jobs that can be described as recession-proof and infinitely in demand, teaching is it. Each year the Teacher Training Agency is charged with the responsibility of filling more than 32,000 teaching posts throughout the UK. Newly qualified teachers start on the main salary scale, which rises incrementally from £19,000 to £28,000 and to £33,400 once teachers ‘pass the threshold’.

5. Midwifery

With the UK’s birth rate set to increase by as much as 12.5 per cent each year for the next few years, the demand for midwives will be constant. The problem? There is a serious shortage of qualified professionals to meet this demand. As the majority of current midwives are fast-approaching retirement age, the Royal College of Midwifery is facing a shortfall of more than 10,000. Typically, midwives can expect to earn £25,586 (ONS).

6. IT Consultants

High demand for skilled IT workers will continue to be a prominent feature of the UK job market in 2009, due to organisations looking for ways to streamline operations in addition to the growing trend to work from home. The UK Government, for instance, currently spends more than £15 billion per year outsourcing IT staff to carry out general day-to-day tasks — the equivalent of 20 new Wembley Stadiums every year — because of a lack of internal IT skills. All of this means that the UK economy needs at least 150,000 new entrants each year simply to meet demand. And this demand is reflected in the increase salaries enjoyed by IT workers who typically earn more than £40,000 a year (British Computer Society).

7. Nursing

Nursing is one profession that often appears in lists featuring the most in-demand jobs in the UK. With an ageing and a growing population coupled with the expansion of primary health care in a community setting and new legislation permitting nurses to perform non-surgical tasks, nurses have and will always be in high demand with the average nurse earning £23,044 (ONS).

8. Accounting

You would be forgiven for assuming that the gathering spate of redundancies within the financial sector, combined with the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions taking place in the UK would see the requirement for financial advisers and accountants fall. However, you would be wrong. In fact, it is just these occurrences that are seeing demand for accountants and financial advisers increasing as more and more organisations and private investors are becoming shrewd with their funds. According to the ONS accountant can expect to earn £37,320.

9. Oil workers

Fuel prices rose to their highest ever levels in 2008 and despite a slight drop at the end of the year, prices will soon go up again as we career headlong towards ‘peak oil’ — where demand for oil outstrips supply. With 4 million more cars on British roads in 2010 compared to 2000, coupled with the insatiable demand for oil from the emerging Indian and Chinese economies, there has been an upsurge in demand for oil workers and oil engineers — particularly from Britain. Indeed, take a trip to Aberdeen (aka the European Oil Capital) and you will quickly understand why this city’s oil industry is booming with some oil workers reportedly commanding rates of £600-700 per day.

10. Market researchers

This may not be the most popular of choices to include in a top 10 list of jobs that are in demand, but hear me out on this one. We all know what these people do: they stop us on the streets or call us when we are at home to ask us to take ‘a few minutes of our time’ to answer some ‘routine’ questions. The role of a market researcher has taken on a greater importance in recent months within the retail sector which, as widely publicised, is in the midst of the most difficult trading period in a decade. Consequently, retailers are anxious to understand precisely what their customers need and expect from a business and respond accordingly. Researcher salaries tend to start at £18,000 and can reach £32,000 after five or more years of experience.

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