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Five Sectors for 2016 Recruitment Growth

As an industry valued at £31.5bn that employs over 100,000 people. The UK recruitment industry is a success story outperforming on a global stage.


Anticipated to grow by 20% over the next two years, recruitment has entered what many are aptly calling a golden age of recruiting.

Contract recruitment, in particular, grew by 9.7% last year, holds 91% of the total market share and has 1.2million contractors on active placements on any given day.

A fifth of the 100 biggest global agencies are housed on British shores, with the UK second only to the US.


Accounting for over a quarter of our GDP and feeling perhaps the tightest pinch around skills shortages, agencies that have access to candidates will be a lifeline to businesses in 2016.

By 2022, the sector intends to meet demand for 257,000 new vacancies. The Engineering UK Report suggests businesses will need to hire an average of 182,000 people each year within an engineering-related demand.

  • The aerospace industry could potentially create 100,000 jobs in the next 15 years.
  • Major developments in rail lines throughout the nation including HS2 and the potential HS3 stretching to Newcastle.
  • Return of British automotive industry as a global leader.
  • Hinckley Point C nuclear plant to create 25,000 jobs during its creation.
  • Proposal of Suffolk power station Sizewell C could also create 25,000 during its creation.
  • The £14bn Wylfa Newydd project in Anglesey believed to create 8,500 jobs during development.
  • Oil to rebound but unlikely to move out of the doldrums in 2016. Perhaps showing signs of life in 2017.

Finance & Accountancy

With 51% year-on-year growth reported by APSCo, this was the leading sector for professional contract growth in 2015.

Robert Half reveal vacancies are up 16% on the year and two-thirds of finance firms are intending to expand over 2016.

Pressure from financial regulators over tougher legislation is driving a gold rush in demand for compliance consultants in 2016.

  • Daily rates among senior compliance officers to jump 20% to £1,200.
  • Rates among central, or internal, compliance roles anticipated to rise by 7.7% to £700.


Anticipated as the fastest growth sector in 2016, cybersecurity has become a number one priority amongst businesses.

In-light of recent high-profile data breaches, from the sheets being pulled back on Ashley Madison customers to the £35million in losses from the TalkTalk hack, experts in the field can earn up to £10,000 in daily rates.

With further developments in cloud technology and the internet of things in 2016, businesses and people need to safeguard their personal information.

  • Annual market growth of 10%
  • Estimated to reach $170bn by 2020.
  • PwC estimates a single breach to cost large businesses between £1.46m to £3.14m and SMEs between £75,000 and £310,800.

IT & Tech

The backbone of modern growth is technology and 2016 will see faster movement than ever before in this sector.

With a new tech startup born every hour in the UK, the nation already boasts 17 billion dollar unicorn startups and housed the most emerging fintech businesses in the world.

The development of the IoT over the next five years is estimated to cost $6trillion and connect 34 billion devices to the internet according to Tech Insider.

  • With 1000 Edtechs in the UK and a surge in investment, including backing from Zuckerberg, Edtech is a big market for 2016.
  • Creating over 30,000 jobs in Fintech within London in the last five years, the UK has raised eight unicorns from the sector and recorded 12 companies in KPMG’s emerging 50.
  • In 2015 Robert Half tipped big data engineers, mobiles app developers and data security analysts for almost 9% salary growth, with UX specialists anticipating a 6% increase.
  • More than 71,000 professional developers in the capital, 25% more than New York and more than Stockholm, Berlin, and Dublin combined.

Life Sciences

After rebounding in 2014 to hit a seven-year record in profits, life sciences has become one of the fastest growing global markets. Catering to longer life expectancies, an ageing population and more chronic illnesses, emerging technology and discoveries make this one of the UK’s strongest sectors in 2016.

Britain currently produces 16% of the world’s most cited scientific publications and develops an eighth of the most popular global medical prescriptions.

The UK biosector is world leading collecting £2.4bn VC investment over the last decade, more than any other nation.

  • Bioinformatists, statistics, data mining, health economics and those with experience in translational medicine and clinical pharmaceuticals are in short supply and major demand.

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