Chancellor George Osborne has declared that ‘the British economy is healing’ and pointed to higher-than-predicted job creation figures in his recent autumn statement. While the figures are cause for (some) celebration, many of the roles are temporary or part time and you’ll need to look hard – and may need to consider re-locating – for the best opportunities.
If you’re looking for a job in 2013, here are the industries and regions to keep an eye on.
Nearly £13m is to be invested on upgrading motorways and A-roads in Hampshire, with improvements on the M27, M3, A34 and A3 part of a £217m national programme to improve traffic flow.
The £12.8 being spent is expected to help create up to 40,000 jobs between 2013 and 2015. Added to this, more than 23,000 new homes are scheduled for build in the county by 2020, creating jobs for the local construction industry.
In a further boost for jobs, Transport for London wants to double its spending on London’s roads over the next decade, while the Chancellor recently announced a £5 billion investment for UK infrastructure projects, including improvements to the M25 and rail network.
The high street has undeniably suffered over the last few years but there are retailers who plan to expand and take on more staff next year.
Department store chain Debenhams plans to open 17 new stores over the next five years, with locations including Cheshire Oaks, Fort Kinnaird, Beverley, Wandsworth, Scunthorpe, Darlington, Shrewsbury and Newport, South Wales.
German supermarket chain Aldi is in the middle of a two-year plan to open 40 new stores, having seen a huge surge in trade after successfully moving upmarket and gaining recognition for its high-quality produce at low prices.
There will also be opportunities in the rapidly expanding designer shopping village sector, led by firms like McArthur Glen – which very recently gained planning permission for a new £35m development in Swindon.
Pharmaceuticals, North West
Recruitment specialists Hays Life Sciences have identified the North West as a particular growth hotspot for the pharmaceuticals industry, with major players still expanding and new start-ups springing up around them.
The company’s Manchester director David Nixon said: ‘The excellent transport links, outstanding universities, affordable office and laboratory space is fast making the North West an attractive place to do business. This is particularly true for the growing number of start-ups in the region.’
Redx Pharma, based in Liverpool, recently secured £4.7 million in regional development funding to create nearly 150 jobs developing new anti-viral treatments over the coming years.
Tech start-ups, East London
East London has changed dramatically over the last decade with urban regeneration accelerated by the Olympic Games, but the area has also become a hotspot for computer technology start-ups.
Known as Silicon Roundabout or Tech City, the area in question is centred on Old Street – but business is expected to spread eastwards as businesses move into the legacy facilities left behind by the Olympics.
In a recent opinion piece for the BBC, Tudor Aw, KPMG’s Head of Technology Europe, said: ‘The number of UK seed and start-up companies that have benefited from venture capital investment has grown steadily over the last few years, despite the financial crisis. Today, almost 5,000 digital and technology companies are estimated to be operating in East London, almost half of all the UK start-ups.’
New tax breaks and support measures for the creative industries are intended to keep the momentum going – so London (and the more established ‘Silicon Fen’ area up the M11 in Cambridgeshire) is the place to look for tech jobs.
Aerospace and technology, Bristol
The West Country’s most vibrant city, Bristol, has been seeing higher than average rises in employment and has a healthy and balanced mix of public and private jobs, with several significant sectors – including aerospace, technology, tourism, media and commerce.
There have been job losses and industrial closures in and around the city, but the new Bristol and Bath Science Park and the National Composite Centre are expected to generate 6,000 new positions to the area between them.
And the city’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is aiming to create a development hub around Temple Meads train station in the city centre – with a commitment to create at least 5,000 jobs over the next five years.
There’s been much talk about the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games, but one of the earliest benefits is expected to be a continued increase in foreign visitors – and the whole country is expected to share in the benefit as tourists want to see more than just the capital.
VisitBritain recently predicted a 3% rise in visitors from overseas during 2013 – and also a rise of 2.5% in the amount spent by them – to a record £19bn.
It was claimed this year that one third of new jobs created since 2009 have been tourism-related, so the sector seems a good bet for jobseekers.