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South East

The South East contributes 13% of employment to the sector. Employment levels are projected to increase between 2004-2014as replacement demand is expected to be high,which is indicative of an ageing and mobile workforce..

There are around 5,400 employers in the region accounting for 29% of employers in the sector. 69% of employers have fewer than 10 people, which is much lower than the overall regional figure of 85%.

Each of the industries, in the sector, are significant employers in the region. There is a petroleum refinery, storage and distribution centre and Dungeness A and B nuclear power stations are located in the region. In addition, the largest onshore oil field and refinery is in the region. Large storage farms are in the South East as the region has the highest demand for road fuels, plus the UK’s major airports are in South East requiring fuel. A gas plant in the region is predicted to become a major gas input point for the national grid. A cluster of companies in the polymer industry are located on the Isle of Wight. However, pharmaceutical companies dominate the region with four top organisations based in Kent.

The mean weekly pay for the region is £830.20, compared to £381.50 for the whole sector in the UK.

Data on the region’s sectoral workforce, from the Labour Force Survey, are limited so some caution is required for the following workforce profile data:

  • over 90% of the workforce are employed full-time
  • 10% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years, compared to 14% of the overall regional workforce
  • 40% of the workforce is over 45 years, compared to 39% of the overall regional workforce
  • 62% of the sector workforce is male, compared to 54% of the regional workforce
  • 93% of the workforce is white, compared to 95% of the region’s workforce
  • 60% of the workforce in the region have a Level 3 or above qualification, compared to 54% in the overall regional workforce

24% of employers report internal skills gaps and 18% of organisations report vacancies. There is a deficit of people with qualifications at Level 2 (4%) and Level 3 (15%)

The South East has a high proportion of Managers & Senior Officials.

The gender split in the sector’s regional workforce is expected to shift in the future with an increase of 3.5% in the number of female employees. The number of part-time workers is also expected increase as is the case in many of the other regions.

Sources: Cogent regional factsheet 2008 and Cogent Sector Skill Needs Assessment 2006