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Who will be the biggest employers by 2016?

The IT and technology industries will be where the top jobs are in five years’ time. That’s according to HR Business Network members, who say that the industry will see the biggest growth in personnel.

It was ranked first with 31 per cent of the votes, above healthcare in second place with 17 per cent. Both the manufacturing and media industries did not get as much of a vote of confidence, getting only 7 per cent and 9 per cent of the share respectively.

Traditionally, healthcare is often seen as most likely to see a boom in years to come, triggered by an ageing population with fewer children to look after the older generations.

But with cuts threatening all public services, that could explain why it wasn’t top of the list.

HR Business Network member Michelle Batt, human resources director at Manhattan Associates, explained why she opted for IT. She said: “I think people are feeling squeezed and generally don’t have much disposable income, so as a result retailers are suffering and will continue to do so for a while. The price of materials is going up and is likely to affect the manufacturers, and the same for entertainment. “The financial industry has already been hit and I would guess that growth here will be checked as will healthcare given the cuts that are being made in public companies.

There are now so many rapid changes that are happening within technology. Within six months companies are bringing out the next generation of revolutionary products and there is an appetite to have the latest gadgets. “Technology has the ability to drive all those other industries, helping them become more competitive, streamlined and providing cost saving efficiencies, so I feel that IT and technology will see the greatest growth over the next few years.” One industry that wasn’t on the shortlist was property, so we contacted another member, Persimmon PLC group HR Director Richard Latham for his view. He said that despite the challenging conditions for the sector and for construction as a whole, the future looked positive.

“Despite the ongoing low level of mortgage approvals, the Group is achieving improving returns and remains well positioned for the upturn in the housing market when it occurs, along with an expected positive impact on recruitment. “Together with the rest of the sector we are also encouraged by the government assistance announced last week to help get first time buyers on to the property ladder, which will bring a significant boost to the housing market as a whole and further strengthen the current steady increase in job opportunities.”

The full results of the poll at a glance:

Which industries will have the biggest growth in workforce in the next 5 years?

Retail: 14%
Media & entertainment :9%
Finance: 14%
IT & technology: 31%
Healthcare: 17%
Manufacturing: 7%