As a new month arrives – marking the 24th week since the country was officially placed into lockdown – the UK government is now actively encouraging the British public to begin returning to work.
A lot has changed in the world of work since 23rd March.
Last month, it was confirmed that the UK had fallen into recession after suffering the largest drop in employment in more than a decade.
The news of the recession brought with it the cold hard facts are that many more people in Manchester will lose their jobs, with Manchester City Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese, stating that “recovering from the impacts of the coronavirus period and getting the city back on a positive trajectory is the greatest challenge we have faced in our lifetimes,”.
The ‘new normal’ has seen millions of people have their version of a typical working day altered in some capacity or another, but now it seems that things are beginning to gradually improve.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has also issued a statement this week encouraging workers from across the region to begin a “voluntary” and “safety-led” return to the workplace, but for those who have unfortunately found themselves without a job to return to, or for those who feel in need of change in career direction, are the job opportunities there?
And what sectors are actively recruiting at the moment?
The good news is that newly-released data has shown a continued rise in the number of job roles across posted in total throughout August, and this has thus prompted experts and recruiters to begin pinpointing which careers are the most in-demand across the UK, as well as which sectors are currently hiring.
According to an analysis by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the first week of August saw the number of job advertisements in the UK rise to what is the highest weekly total since lockdown began back in March.
The analysis found that there were 1.10 million active job postings in the week starting 3rd August – with almost 126,000 adverts posted between 3rd – 9th August – which is up from 1.04 million in the previous week.
The previous high was the first week of June with 112,000 new postings.
Overall, the volume of online job adverts posted in August was at 62% of the 2019 average – which is up from 53% the week before – with several professions seeing continued or increased demand, and whilst these figures do however remain below the 1.35 million job postings active before lockdown in the first week of March, it is still encouraging.
When it comes to which sectors are actively hiring, recruiters and experts have offered their takes.
Gerwyn Davies – Analyst at Human Resources body CIPD – says that job-seekers should be ”strategic” and target sectors that are experiencing job shortages as well as those that are growing.
With data indicating that health and social care vacancies are almost back to 2019 levels, he has suggested that now could be a good time to join the public sector, especially as initiatives like the National Retraining Scheme is helping people to move into areas like social work, teaching and healthcare.
The government is also planning to fund thousands of nurse apprenticeships in England too.
Amy Golding – Head of Technology Recruitment at Opus Talent Solutions – has also suggested job-seekers apply to companies which are fully digital, regardless of the role you want, as the pandemic has accelerated the shift to online working, and these could for example be online retail companies like Amazon – which is currently recruiting for 15,000 UK jobs – or perhaps tech companies working in education or healthcare.
The government’s Shortage Occupation List – which used to offer work visas to people moving to the UK – is also a useful tool for job-seekers as it quickly shows where workers are needed.
It includes jobs in a wider range of fields like engineering, web programming, graphic design and more.
You can find more recruitment information via the REC website here.