Over 130,000 UK job vacancies on offer needing no degree or formal education

Posted on Apr 6, 2021 Job prospects for jobseekers without a degree are looking up, with over 130,000 advertised vacancies on offer that don’t require a formal education, according to new research from global job search engine Adzuna.

The research, based on over 890,000 open roles featured on Adzuna in March 2021, analysed UK job openings and advertised salaries for positions requiring no degree or formal education. Lower-skilled workers have been some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, bearing the brunt of increasing job competition from graduates and other higher-skilled workers, fuelled by rising redundancies and high unemployment levels.

Unemployment among recent graduates hit 12% in Q3 2020 according to the ONS, compared to a wider youth unemployment rate incorporating lower-skilled workers of 13.6% in Q2 and Q3, and overall UK unemployment currently sitting at 5.0%.  But with the end of lockdown in sight, the data reveals jobs not requiring a degree or formal education are finally flooding back to the market. The 30 roles analysed are advertising 138,648 job vacancies between them, equal to 16%, or 1 in 7, of the 894,259 UK jobs currently available.

In particular, the recent lockdown DIY boom has driven demand for skilled trades, including 13,412 Electrician job vacancies, 5,924 Labourer openings, 3,718 Plumber roles, 3,025 Carpenter positions and 1,565 job vacancies for Painter & Decorators. The pandemic has also stoked demand for Warehouse, Logistics and E-commerce roles. The increase in online shopping has created jobs for Warehouse Operatives (7,285 openings), Couriers (8,602 openings), and HGV Drivers (9,526 roles). 

Similarly, companies have focused on growing their online presence through their website, social media channels and through digital marketing, leading to rising opportunities in associated entry-level positions that require tech or social ‘know-how’ rather than a specific degree. As a result, three of our 30 ‘no-degree necessary’ picks sit within this space: Social Media Officer (1,613 openings), Trainee Software Developer (642 roles), and Digital Marketing Assistant (312 roles). Hospitality openings are also starting to return as the UK looks forward to the end of lockdown, with 21,492 Waiter roles on offer, 6,530 Chef openings, and 438 Bartender positions.

Meanwhile, as offices and bricks and mortar retailers prepare to re-open, expert Cleaners remain in demand (11,853 openings). The Care sector is a final bright spot for jobseekers with no degree, with 3,907 advertised vacancies on offer, and hourly pay rates rising to as much as GBP22 per hour.  Two jobs on our list have advertised salaries averaging over GBP40k, Plumbers (GBP40,028) and Photographers (GBP44,015,) showing workers don’t need to shell out on costly university tuition fees to earn a substantial salary.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “The pandemic has been particularly tough on non-graduate jobseekers who’ve had to jostle with furloughed workers, recent graduates and the newly redundant to try and secure work.

But the jobs market has turned a corner for those without a degree.

As restrictions lift and the country moves towards opening up, hiring is increasing in non-specialist roles, with a boom in demand for skilled trades, cleaners and hospitality workers.

Meanwhile, initiatives like the UK Government’s Kickstart Scheme are encouraging more companies to upskill younger workers on the job, rather than look to hire specialists, which could be a way into white-collar work for those who opted against higher education.”

Table 1: 30 UK Jobs Available Now That Don’t Require A Degree

Job Advertised Vacancies Average Advertised Salary
1 Waiter 21,492 GBP25,543
2 Electrician 13,412 GBP37,838
3 Cleaner 11,853 GBP19,479
4 HGV Driver 9,526 GBP27,874
5 Office Manager 8,931 GBP36,974
6 Courier 8,602 GBP32,257
7 Recruitment Consultant 7,945 GBP29,810
8 Warehouse Operative 7,285 GBP19,283
9 Chef 6,530 GBP23,774
10 Labourer 5,924 GBP21,864
11 Personal Trainer 4,762 GBP22,587
12 Photographer 4,002 GBP44,015
13 Care Worker 3,907 GBP20,600
14 Plumber 3,718 GBP40,028
15 Events Coordinator / Manager 3,487 GBP29,453
16 Carpenter 3,025 GBP34,959
17 Gardener 2,182 GBP24,379
18 Sales Assistant 1,760 GBP19,813
19 Executive Assistant 1,668 GBP33,556
20 Social Media Officer 1,613 GBP29,014
21 Painter & Decorator 1,565 GBP30,661
22 Window Cleaner 1,047 GBP20,396
23 Tree Surgeon 955 GBP27,707
24 Estate Agent 859 GBP35,030
25 Babysitter 693 GBP21,218
26 Trainee Software Developer 642 GBP30,476
27 Bartender 438 GBP18,526
28 Digital Marketing Assistant 312 GBP24,663
29 Student Paramedic 281 GBP33,352
30 Furniture Assembler 232 GBP37,472