It's been a rough few years for anyone looking for work, and the threat of redundancy is still a very real fear for many Brits. But a recent report produced by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills revealed there are still vacancies if you know where to look.

jobs most in demand in the UK

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So if you are desperate to get back to work or are considering a change of career, these are the sectors and employment skills most in demand.

Skills shortages
The survey, of over 87,000 businesses, revealed that 23 per cent of employers' vacancies were considered 'hard-to-fill' - and the most widely-given reason for this was found to be lack of skills, qualifications or experience.

Electricians, plumbers and chefs with the above were most in demand as employers reportedly found applicants wanting when it came to skill and qualifications, particularly within the hotel and restaurant trade, wholesale and retail, and manufacturing and construction industries.

But it's not just tradesmen that are sought after - the report also suggested there was a shortage of skilled professionals within the business services sector, where financial services companies, solicitors, the education sector and marketing firms were struggling to fill vacancies.

Highest demand
Of the areas experiencing the greatest demand for skilled professionals, IT technicians and investment analysts came out on top, with five vacancies for every 100 people working in the sector. That's good news for those with specialist or technical knowledge. Meanwhile the catering and hospitality industry, and community and social services areas are also key areas for job seekers.

Elsewhere jobs vacancies within the mining and quarrying industries amounted to seven per cent of the total workforce, while customer service staff are reportedly in demand within the construction, electricity, gas and water industries.

Growth industries
If you are hoping to change career or have been made redundant and are considering retraining, it's worth knowing which sectors are on the up and up.

IT and communications, for example, is currently performing well and, according to the Barclays Job Creation Survey, some 78 per cent of companies within the sector are hoping to create new vacancies over the coming year.

Renewable energy is also likely to experience growth in the years to come. The Government invested £5.7 billion in renewable energy last year and with both green energy and construction high on the agenda and attracting global investors, it's a great sector to get into if you are just starting out in the job market.

Energy professionals are also in demand within the oil and gas industries though, with Hays Recruitment reporting that the average salary for employees in this sector is more than twice the national average, at a healthy £55,850.

Having endured torrid times in recent years, the motoring industry is also now on an upward curve. Currently the UK's largest export sector, the Government has pledged a £50 million investment in the industry over the next three years, encouraging manufacturers from abroad to build in the UK. Good news for those looking to find or start work in automotive engineering.

And unsurprisingly, the healthcare industry still is one of the sectors with the greatest demand. Not only does Hays Recruitment list the industry on its top 10 global skills shortage list, but according to the Barclays Job Creation Survey, some 62 per cent of UK healthcare companies plan to create new jobs in the next 12 months.