More than half of the UK’s businesses expect to recruit new staff in 2014, according to a report by the British Confederation of Businesses (CBI) – which marks the first time companies have predicted an increase in jobs since the start of the recession in 2008.
If you’re looking for work, here are just a few of the industries and regions to watch in 2014.
Britain’s retail sector may have suffered several high-profile casualties during the recession but some stores are posting excellent results and plan to take on extra staff in 2014.
Take for example Aldi, which opened its 500th UK store this October. As well as its current programme to open 40 new stores across the UK, the German supermarket chain plans to open a new regional base, incorporating a distribution centre and offices in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire. The site will create 400 new jobs which the supermarket says it will start recruiting for this month, ready for the site to open in 2015.
More than 3,500 jobs have already been created at the new retail centre at Longbridge, on the Birmingham/Worcestershire border, according to development firm St Modwen. Further development work on the former MG Rover factory site is planned for next year, including the building of a new M&S store, which is expected to create around 350 retail jobs.
Meanwhile, a £35m development programme at the McArthur Glen shopping village in Swindon is expected to create 350 extra retail jobs when it opens in autumn 2014.
And Debenhams, which already has 155 UK stores, also plans to open 17 new department stores over the next few years, with locations including Cheshire Oaks, Fort Kinnaird, Beverley, Wandsworth, Scunthorpe, Darlington, Shrewsbury and Newport, South Wales.
Supermarket giant Tesco is optimistic about the future, too. Its new Wolverhampton store is due to open at the end of 2014 and is expected to create hundreds of jobs in the city.
And it’s not just retail stores that Tesco plans to extend. Tesco Bank, which currently employs around 4,000 people, is set to create 300 new jobs in its offices at South Gyle in Edinburgh and Glasgow’s Renfield Street.
The Bank is currently recruiting for positions ready for the 2014 launch of its current account and has said there will be an additional 58 head office posts to fill, including in marketing and legal services. All the positions will be permanent and most will be full-time.
The recent boom in property prices, in part fuelled by the government’s Help-to-Buy subsidised mortgage scheme, has seen a dramatic rise in the number of real estate jobs, including estate agents and property developers.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 25,000 new estate agent jobs were created between March and June this year, taking the industry’s workforce to 241,000 – a record high and 100,000 more than at the peak of the housing boom in mid-2008.
John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist, said: “Encouragingly almost all parts of the private sector added jobs, including manufacturing, but the stand out sector is Real Estate which saw a jump in employment of almost 10 per cent in the second quarter of the year, almost certainly a reflection of the recent resurgence in housing market activity.”
With many experts predicting a further rise in house prices for 2014, job opportunities in the sector look good as long as the UK is able to avoid another housing bubble, of course.
The UK is set to undergo its biggest car manufacturing boom for more than 40 years and the West Midlands is at the forefront of the production bonanza.
Digger manufacturer JCB plans to invest £150m over the next five years, creating 2,500 jobs in Staffordshire and up to 7,500 more in its supply chain. As part of its development plans, a new factory will be built at Beamhurst, near Uttoxeter and another at Cheadle. Other areas to benefit include Foston in Derbyshire, where JCB produces engines, and Wrexham in north Wales, where the firm makes axles and gearboxes.
A new multi-million pound redevelopment programme is also underway at Longbridge-based MG Motor UK, doubling the size of the design centre and generating new jobs.
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover has announced 1,700 new jobs are to be created at its West Midlands factory as part of a £1.5bn investment in new technology bringing the total number of new jobs announced by the company to almost 11,000 over the last three years. In addition to jobs at the Solihull factory, the investment is expected to deliver another 24,000 jobs in the company’s supply chain.
Staffordshire is set to enjoy another boost to its economy thanks to government plans to improve the A50 trunk road near Uttoxeter. JCB, along with Rolls Royce, Toyota, Michelin and Bentley are expected to benefit from better connections in the area, and the road will also support around 700 new houses as part of a significant new construction project.
Slightly further afield, BMW is planning to create new jobs and invest a further £250 million in its Oxford and Swindon sites by the end of 2015 to support the growth of the Mini.
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