Often the most overlooked industries are the most interesting and best paid... But what are they and how do I get into them?

Although the job market has much improved since the recession, there is still a lack of opportunities in many sectors. This means that there is still a lot of competition that was widespread a few years ago. However, there are some industries that are suffering from a skills-shortage. This a term used to describe a lack of well-trained candidates to take a growing number of roles.

The UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2015 found that there were 209,500 vacancies in UK that were a result of a nationwide skills shortage. 6% of the total amount of employers interviewed said their vacancies had been affected by one. Skills shortages are not all bad though — there are a few advantages of working in a sector with a lack of qualified candidates for those looking for employment, such as more choice over competing roles and a higher salary to those who are skilled enough to fill them. Because of this, a career in one of these areas can be appealing option to pursue, and one you should definitely consider.

So with this in mind, we’re going to have a look at five industries that have a skills shortage and how you could use this to your advantage to have a successful career.

Engineering Apprenticeships

The Royal Academy of Engineers estimated that they need to train 75,000 engineers every year until 2020 to keep up with industry demand, but currently only 22,000 are coming through the ranks each year. This huge shortage means that qualified engineers are highly sought after, with good salaries, plenty of choice, and bright career prospects for those who pursue a job in the sector.

A popular route into engineering is through a higher apprenticeship, which can lead to a professional qualification equivalent to a foundation degree. While you get the benefits of earning a qualification, you can also look forward to on-the-job experience and a wage throughout your training period.  Aside from an apprenticeship, there are also paths into the industry through higher education.


Accounting is another industry where there aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill advertised roles. The Association of Professional Staffing Companies revealed recently that there was a year-on-year rise of 10.2% in vacancies between the months of March and June 2016, showing just how much demand there was for skilled workers.

As a qualified accountant, you can look forward to an annual salary of around £50,000 for the first few years, with very rosy prospects of this increasing alongside your experience. The quickest route you can take into the sector is by studying for an accountancy qualification with one of the UK’s recognised bodies, like ACCA or ICAEW. You can usually do this straight after college or sixth form studying part-time, allowing you to work or gain industry experience at the same time.

Logistics and material handling

Logistics and material handling is an often-overlooked area, but it shouldn’t be due to its status as a vital support industry to many others, such as online retail and business. Without it, many industries would not be able to function properly and would face huge problems when it comes to moving stock or warehousing. As it is often viewed as being in the background, there is an ongoing shortage of qualified staff for key roles, such as forklift truck drivers and engineers.

One of the best ways into the sector is through an apprenticeship — something that Impact Handling, a forklift engineer and driver trainer knows well.