It’s not all gloom – some industries are booming and hiring

You’ve undoubtedly read about job layoffs resulting from the coronavirus crisis. But while hospitality and travel have suffered considerably, not all industries have been negatively affected.

Grocers Tesco in the UK, for example, has hired 16,000 extra staff, its competitor Morrisons 6,000 to date and more in the pipeline, and Amazon UK is hiring 7,000 permanent and 20,000 seasonal workers. Meanwhile the electrical goods specialist AO.com, DIY chain Kingfisher, and delivery firms DPD and Hermes have also hired thousands of extra staff.

This isn’t just happening in the UK either. In Australia Woolworths has announced it plans to hire up to 20,000 new staff, Coles is hiring another 5,000 workers and Domino’s is hiring 2,000 extra delivery workers.

The scale of hiring by grocers in the US is phenomenal. Walmart has announced it will hire 240,000 seasonal workers for the Christmas rush including 20,000 seasonal e-commerce workers. It has already hired at least 500,000 since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The telecoms industry is another hot bed of recruitment. In Singapore, for example, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is partnering with Singapore’s mobile network operators to hire and upskill 1,000 workers to support the country’s 5G rollout. The plan is to train a total of 5,000 staff over the next three years to develop a 5G skilled workforce in the country.

Commenting on the hiring, Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, IMDA, said: “Talent development is the next critical phase of our investment in 5G. This effort extends Singapore’s momentum in 5G following our investment in building infrastructure capabilities.”

In Thailand the government organised a jobs fair with more than a million jobs up for grabs. While airlines and tourism have been badly hit by the pandemic, agribusiness Charoen Pokphand Foods, telecoms firm True Corp and energy firm PTT were among those looking to recruit.

Meanwhile recruiters in the UK say the country is facing a significant shortage of telecoms engineers with more than 200 firms racing to build out fibre and 5G networks. Research by recruiters Robert Walters and data firm Vacancysoft found a huge shortfall in cybersecurity staff in the UK. The country cannot look to Europe for talent either – not because of Brexit but because across Europe there’s a shortage of around 140,000 skilled workers. In fact, the World Economic Forum calculates that Europe will have a shortfall of around 756,000 ICT professionals this year.

This is dwarfed by the demand for skilled ICT professionals in Asia-Pacific which, according to Michael Macdonald, chief digital officer and executive consultant of Huawei Asia Pacific, means there are about 5 million fewer trained ICT professionals than the region needs. Huawei’s answer to this problem is training at scale, with the company aiming to train 2 million ICT professionals over the next five years. In 2020 alone it is building more than 200 Huawei ICT Academies and training thousands of certified personnel across a range of disciplines.

For those looking for their next move mobile, telecoms, cybersecurity, logistics, e-commerce and grocery are all promising industries to target.

Teresa Cottam
Teresa Cottam

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