Where next? How these five industries will shape the U.K. economy
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The business landscape is undergoing rapid shifts, with the pandemic causing a significant increase in the demand for certain sectors while reducing the dominance of others.
In 2020, most industries were forced to take drastic measures and adapt to the new environment, resulting in massive changes. Although some of these precautions are temporary, many are expected to become permanent.
As we enter 2024, industries such as entertainment, leisure, and services are still recovering from the effects of COVID-19, while sectors like energy and various digital technologies in fields like cybersecurity and healthcare are experiencing growing demand. We have explored some of the UK’s fastest-growing industries below if you’re uncertain about the direction to take, whether finding a new job or expanding or starting a business.
The Role of Technology and Innovation
The technology industry in the UK employs more than 1.7 million individuals and contributes over £150 billion to the country’s economy annually and had a combined market value of $1 trillion in 2022. Businesses in the digital sector utilise their technological skills and knowledge to resolve issues and enhance everyday services, resulting in consumer advantages across various sectors such as food delivery, healthcare, energy, etc.
The possibilities for advancement are limitless. Automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Edge computing, Quantum technology, Drones, and High-Performance Computing all possess the capability to revolutionise the United Kingdom. Organisations like techUK, in collaboration with the British Government and other stakeholders, continue to prioritise technological innovation and establish an ecosystem conducive to innovation. This will ultimately benefit individuals, society, the economy, and the environment while also positioning the UK as a prominent global leader in technology and innovation.
The Green Revolution: Renewable Energy and Sustainability
New research conducted by academics from Imperial College London for Drax Electric Insights reveals that the UK experienced a record-breaking surge in renewable energy generation in 2022.
The findings indicate that solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower accounted for a remarkable 40 percent of the country’s electricity supply, marking a five percent increase from the previous year. However, the report also highlights a simultaneous rise in energy production derived from fossil fuels during the same period.
This remarkable shift toward renewable energy aligns with the overwhelming support of the British public for the expansion of green industries, the implementation of net zero policies, and the overall growth of sustainable energy sources. Moreover, this trend presents a unique opportunity for substantial investments in the manufacturing sector of renewable energy, a prospect that has never been more promising and competitive.
Notably, renewable energy and other eco-friendly sectors are anticipated to be crucial in driving employment opportunities and attracting investments to regions outside of London and the South East. These industries have emerged as the top priority for fostering economic growth and revitalisation across the country.
Financial Services and Fintech
The progression of fintech on the UK’s economy has revolutionised the way payments are made and have empowered financial inclusion and innovation. This has forever changed the operations of traditional financial services and reshaped the economic landscape, transforming how people interact with their finances.
As fintech continues to advance, policymakers, the companies involved, and consumers must collaborate in harnessing the power of fintech while addressing the evident challenges. The UK’s ongoing commitment to adopting fintech innovation will play a crucial role in maintaining its position as a global financial powerhouse in the future. By adopting this measured approach, the fintech revolution can lead to a more inclusive, efficient, and prosperous UK economy.
The UK’s gambling industry has experienced substantial expansion in recent years, with the regular emergence of expertly reviewed online casinos available in the UK. By 2024, the market is projected to be valued at £14.3 billion, a significant rise compared to previous years.
This growth is primarily fueled by the increasing trend of online gambling, which now makes up 38.2% of the overall market. Online gambling has been crucial in driving growth within the UK gambling industry. In 2023, online gambling revenues reached a record-breaking £5.4 billion, accounting for a significant portion of the total market. This growth can be attributed to the growing popularity of online casinos, sports betting, and virtual gaming platforms.
Creative Industries: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment etc
With a robust combination of sub-sectors such as marketing, architecture, fashion, film, IT, music, performance and visual arts, it should be no surprise that the creative industries sector in the UK contributed £109 billion to the economy in 2021. This accounted for 5.6% of the total economic output for the year.
Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector outperformed the overall economy. Since then, there has been a positive trend, with the sector growing by 6.9% in September 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. The sector provided employment for 2.29 million individuals in creative industry jobs as of September 2021, of which 1.62 million were permanent positions.
Throughout a challenging period, the sector’s workforce remained resilient. These figures highlight the sector’s vitality and the numerous opportunities it offers for graduate careers. The growth of the creative industries sector in recent years has been fuelled by the expansion of computer services, underscoring the significance of digital creative industries like video games.
Exploring industries that are experiencing significant growth is crucial for various reasons. One potential motive is contemplating a career transition. By staying informed about thriving industries, you can determine if pursuing your desired career is financially viable. Alternatively, you may be interested in exploring investment prospects.
Despite concerns about Brexit, the pandemic, and other disruptions, it is important to note that the UK economy is not uniformly struggling. While some sectors may be experiencing challenges, several industries are thriving. In fact, the UK currently boasts its lowest unemployment rate in over three decades!