In this article, we look into some of the fastest-growing industries in the UK in 2021 based on IbisWorld’s expert analysis and database of over 440 UK industries. IbisWorld is a trusted industry research company that has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, London, Frankfurt, and Beijing.


2020 has been a tumultuous year for most, if not all, industries worldwide. In the UK, though COVID-19 has resulted in an economic downturn to some types of businesses, there are still resilient sectors that recorded marginal growth despite the pandemic disruption. Last year, online shopping, non-specialised food stores like dispensing chemists and supermarkets, music publishing, and even the camping sub-industry traded constantly above pre-pandemic levels according to the Office for National Statistics.

Coming into the second quarter of 2021, now is the most opportune time for international students to evaluate what industry they would focus on to future-proof themselves. With the ever-changing border restrictions relative to the coronavirus, education providers in the UK continue to offer teaching and learning options for international students to deliver the country’s world-class education system. The Department for Education (DfE) in England has recently updated the guidance for Students returning to and starting higher education in Spring Term 2021 to cover the changing education landscape.

Fastest-Growing Industries in 2021

As we all continue to brace for the post-pandemic world, it would be prudent to be informed of the latest industry trends, especially if you are planning to study abroad or seeking future jobs. Below are some of the fastest-growing industries (in no particular order) in the UK this year based on revenue growth:

Safety Equipment and Supplies Wholesaling

  • Safety Equipment and Supplies Wholesaling industry is expected to register a massive revenue growth of 78.0% in 2021-2022. The surge in the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly from the healthcare sector, during the onslaught of the pandemic and the legislation relating to safety in the workplace have catapulted the growth of this industry.

Arco Ltd, Bunzl plc, Beeswift Ltd, Travis Perkins plc, Brammer UK Ltd, Hultafors Group UK Ltd, and Longworth (UK) Ltd are the key players in the Safety Equipment and Supplies Wholesaling industry.

Online Food Ordering and Delivery Platforms

  • Online Food Ordering and Delivery platforms industry is expected to register a revenue growth of 45.1% in 2021-2022. The demand for this sector is coming from a lack of dining out options and consumers staying in.

Roofoods Ltd, Just Ltd, and Uber Technologies Inc. are the companies holding the largest market share in the Online Food Ordering & Delivery Platforms in the UK industry.

E-Commerce and Online Auction

  • E-Commerce and Online Auction industry is expected to register a revenue growth of 40.2% in 2021-2022. With the enforced closure of non-essential brick-and-mortar retailers, businesses selling a wide variety of goods through online portals are seizing the opportunities on the increased industry demand today. Inc, Ocado Group plc, The Very Group Ltd, ASOS plc, eBay Inc, and QVC UK are the biggest companies in the E-Commerce & Online Auctions industry.
Language learning software developer

  • Language Learning Software Developers industry is expected to register a revenue growth of 39.5.1% in 2021-2022. The report said that the pandemic has increased the demand for language learning software, especially with the temporary closure of educational institutions for school-aged children. Digital in nature, this industry will continue to be on fluent growth with the development of advanced language learning software technology.

Busuu Ltd and Memrise Ltd hold the largest market share in the Language Learning Software Developers industry in the UK.

Precious metals production industry

  • Precious Metals Production industry is expected to register a revenue growth of 37.7% in 2021-2022. Industry operators refine platinum group metals, silver, gold, and their alloys for markets including the Jewellery Manufacturing industry, Motor Vehicle Manufacturing industry, and the Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing industry. The global pandemic and the uncertainties that go with it have contributed to the gold and silver price hike and have driven investors to purchase precious metals as an alternative method of storing wealth.

Johnson Matthey plc, Baird & Co Ltd, The Royal Mint Ltd, and JBR Recovery Ltd. are the companies that hold the largest market share in the Precious Metals Production industry in the UK.

These industry trends may be valuable for future international students, especially now that many UK visa centres are re-opening around the world and the recent development on Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap, where restrictions on social contact and indoor mixing will be further eased while still ensuring health and safety of the student populations moving across the country.