The UK Job Market is absolutely booming!

The UK Job Market is absolutely booming!!


It really is, and the rate of unemployment to fill these key roles is now at its lowest level since the seventies, with only around 1.36 million in the UK out of work – which means if you are a skilled professional looking for the role of your career in the UK, then this could absolutely be your moment to shine!  


The UK is seen as fast becoming an open and welcoming cultural hub for international talent.  Hiring managers who are recognising the limitations of the current UK talent pool are keen to source quality candidates from overseas as part of an effective global strategy to combat skills shortages, as well as helping to build a strong team with a broad range of perspectives and experience.


Highest job vacancies on record


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that job vacancies in the UK have risen by 14,000 over the last three months to 833,000 – which is a record high.  In the UK, job vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking to recruit outside their business or organisation. Suren Thiru, who is the Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said this was “further evidence of persistent skills shortage.’’  “While the number of people in work stands close to historic highs, firms continue to report that attempting to recruit staff with the right skills is an increasingly uphill struggle.” Finding appropriate, suitably skilled, new employees to fill these important skill gaps has seen large UK companies in heated competition for candidates.  


Competition for great staff means higher rates of pay


After 5 years of salaries growing at a rate of only 1.75%, pay rises are now running at an average of 2.9% and are expected to go higher.  Survey evidence points to two-thirds of companies having to increase their pay offers to lure new recruits and are also being forced to offer pay rises to keep their key existing staff.  Andrew Wishart, UK economist at Capital Markets, said the figures indicated that “competition for workers is finally starting to provide greater support to wages.” Earnings have now significantly outstripped inflation for the last four months and this is set to continue.


Sectors in particularly high demand


Barely a week goes by without a story in the press about the skill shortages that there are in the UK economy, and these skills shortages are only set to grow in the coming years as a result of Brexit and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There are shortages in just about every industry right up and down the country, but whilst it is clearly one of the easiest times ever to be looking for the best roles in the UK – some sectors are recruiting more heavily than others.  It is worth taking a look at the UK Shortage Occupations List that details the professionals that are in the highest demand (so you know who is going to fight over you the most).  Some of the specifics are:


Information Technology


It is no surprise to us that candidates with strong IT skills are in seriously high demand.  Britain’s information technology industry is booming, and employers are working hard to fill the gaps in their continuingly expanding workforce.   Skilled tech specialists are increasingly in demand to support the many new start-ups and SME’s with 70% of technology employers anticipating skills shortages this year alone.  


Accountancy and finance


Accountants (chartered & studying) and finance experts continue to be in very high demand across the UK to support business growth, address financial instability, and to help businesses conduct increasingly necessary and complex data analysis, resulting in multiple opportunities arising across this sector in the UK.  A recent survey by Hays, one of the UK’s largest recruitment agencies, revealed that experienced accountants part way through their studies ranked as the 4th most in-demand UK candidate in 2018 across all job roles and all sectors.  An overview of the accountancy job market in the UK can be found in this previous article.


Business Analysts and Project Managers


Preparation for regulatory changes across several industries as a result of Brexit, as well as a continued focus on digital transformation, is creating a massive influx of large-scale complex projects. This is driving increasing demand for skilled and innovative project and change management professionals, particularly in Business Analyst and Project Management roles, to stay ahead of their competitors, respond to their customer needs and adopt new technologies to support and promote growth.




The UK government announced at the beginning of the year that 2018 will be the ‘Year of Engineering.’  It is now widely recognised that the sector is facing a skills crisis like never before, and the leaders of the engineering industry are desperate to fill the jobs that are integral to the field.  Engineering UK has recently stated that the country needs 1.8 million new skilled engineers and technicians by 2025, as they predict that the employment gap will only continue to deepen after Britain leaves the EU.  The Occupation Shortage List means that those coming from overseas to join the engineering industry will be welcomed with open arms, and will have very little challenge gaining a visa.


Huge appetite for global talent


So as the booming UK job market continues to flourish with industry developments bringing many challenges and in turn constant new opportunities, many hiring managers are finding they are faced with immediate and distinct sector-specific skill gaps.  Increasing competition for top talent is leading companies to focus on their global talent strategy to attract the brightest and best talent from around the globe, and they are absolutely willing to pay top wages to entice the best people for the job.  Companies are recognising that bringing in staff with cultural diversity and international skillsets is giving teams access to a broader range of experience and is helping secure inward investment from multinational companies, who are increasingly using the UK as their base of operations for work around the world.  


Do you have what the UK needs?


If you have the skills and the appetite for enhancing your career in the UK, you won’t find a better time to take the plunge!  Skilled Australian and New Zealand professionals are being given the pick of the best jobs, with the best salaries to match – which in turn is enabling them to have the most amazing OE’s, with more money in their pocket to travel and live the UK and Europe.

If you or someone you know would like to make the most of these booming job market conditions, with your pick of the best jobs with a great rate of pay, then please get in contact with us at one of our many offices in Australia, NZ or the UK for an informal chat and sharing of our own personal OE experiences and networks.   Need help with a plan?  Then why not download our free helpful handbook and build one.  

Your time to shine as a skilled global professional is very much now – what are you waiting for?

UK Move Handbook
So now that you have decided that a professional OE in the UK sounds like something you might like to pursue. This handy MyOE guide shows you exactly what your next steps are to make that happen.

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