Moving towards a post-industrial era

The UK has now entered a post-industrial era. This is a time when traditional industries have declined and new jobs have had to take their place.

The development of IT

The IT industry in the UK is worth £58 billion a year:

  • Around 100,000 software companies operate in the UK, eg Microsoft and IBM.
  • The UK has the largest mobile device market in Europe, with around 80 million mobile subscriptions. This is worth an estimated £14 billion a year.
  • Cloud-based storage systems are a fast growing part of the UK economy.
  • Many UK companies are looking to locate data centres closer to home and so this is a growth area.
  • The UK's cyber security market has grown, due to increased threats. This is worth about £2.8 billion a year.
IT developments in the UK include the creation of 100,000 companies, mobile devices, cloud-based storage, data centres and cyber security.

The growth of service industries

The service sector makes up about three-quarters of the UK's economy. Services can include a range of job types, eg healthcare, IT support and entertainment. The UK exports services too, examples of this are tourism and education. People from other countries travel to the UK for these services and the money generated from this counts towards UK exports. The UK is the second largest exporter of services globally.

Finance and research

Financial jobs are to do with money. In the UK, these types of jobs include accountancy, working in banks and building societies, financial planning, insurance, investments and pensions. Large financial employers in the UK include Barclays, Aviva and KPMG.

The government believes that science and research are important for the UK's growth because they help discover new ways for the country to move forward in a sustainable way. Science and research takes place through government research councils, such as the Medical Research Council, higher education, like universities, and other organisations, such as the UK Space Agency.

Science and business parks

Science and business parks are special places for company offices. They are often found on the edge of cities, like Bristol and Cambridge, where there is good accessibility. Many are located close to universities to attract graduates. Science and business parks are designed to be pleasant environments for people to work in. They are often low-rise, with plenty of parking and green spaces. The growth of science and business parks has helped IT, service, finance and research businesses to work together.