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South West

The region has approximately 23,800 employment in the sector. Employment in the sector is dominated by polymers and nuclear industries. Two nuclear power stations are in operation in the region and the remaining are in phases of decommissioning. Nuclear submarines are serviced at the Devonport dockyard.

Employment levels are expected to decline steadily over the next 10 years, but there is a projected increase in part-time employment over the same period.

There are 1,700 employers in the region, comprising 9% of Great Britain’s sectoral employers. 72% of employers have fewer than 10 people, compared to 84% of the regional economy.

The mean weekly pay for the region is £499.00, compared to £381.50 for the whole sector in the UK.

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

  • over 90% of the workforce are employed full-time
  • 36-40% of the workforce is over 45 years
  • 70% of the sector workforce is male, which is unlikely to change in the future
  • 97% of the workforce is white, compared to 94% of the region’s workforce
  • 56% of the workforce have higher level qualifications compared to 56% in the overall region and 53% in the UK sector

20% of employers in the sector reported vacancies; 6% of employers with vacancies reported them to be hard-to-fill vacancies and 4% of employers found these to be skills related. 17% of employers reported internal skills gap.

There is a deficit of people with qualifications at Level 2 (14%) and Level 3 (12%).

Total demand requirement is comparable to other regions and is estimated to be high over the next 10 years. It is anticipated that management occupations will increase as a share of sectoral employment, while the proportion of process and machine operatives will decline. There are a high proportion of Process, plant & machine operatives.

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