According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), more than half of all British firms plan to create more jobs in 2014.

Job prospects seem to be on the up and economic recovery has finally taken hold in the UK, according to experts. Opportunities for permanent employment, apprenticeships and recent graduates appear to be on the rise.

Within the next year, many British firms expect to take on additional staff by creating more positions – a growth that the UK market has not seen since the economic downturn.

The news comes after Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, stated that “for the first time in a long time, you don’t have to be an optimist to see the glass as half full.”

The CBI asked around 325 private sector firms of varying sizes if they thought their workforce would be smaller, larger, or remain the same by the end of 2014. An astounding 51% claimed that they planned to hire more workers. This is a landmark moment in the job market, which has suffered over the past few years; in 2009, this figure was at a low 22%.

Not only are jobs and opportunities on the rise but so is the prospect of a pay raise. 2014 may bring the first substantial salary increase in six years for many workers, with the average worker currently earning £2,600 less than if pay had not been frozen and had kept pace with inflation.

The CBI also found that around one-third of all firms plan to boost graduate recruitment efforts, which will come as a relief to the thousands of young people who have been seeking work since graduation.