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Yorkshire and Humberside

Sector profile

  • Yorkshire and the Humber accounts for 9% of all engineering employment and 10% of all engineering establishments in Great Britain.
  • The engineering sector in Yorkshire and the Humber employs 118,900 people in 6,780 establishments.
  • 98% of engineering establishments in Yorkshire and the Humber employ less than 50 people.
  • The largest sectors in terms of employment are metal products, mechanical equipment and automotive.
  • There are above average concentrations of employment in the metals and mechanical equipment sectors when compared to Great Britain.
  • Engineering employment is geographically concentrated around Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Rotherham and Kingston upon Hull.

Workforce demographics

  • 95% of the engineering workforce in Yorkshire and the Humber is employed on a full-time basis.
  • 84% of the engineering workforce in Yorkshire and the Humber is male.
  • 3% of the engineering workforce in Yorkshire and the Humber could be classed as non-white (6% for UK engineering).

Recruiting and skills

  • Nearly 8,000 people were recruited into the engineering sector in Yorkshire and the Humber during March 2006/07, representing 6.7% of total employment. This compares with the Great Britain figure of 7.7%.
  • 19% of engineering establishments in Yorkshire and the Humber had hard-to-fill vacancies over that period (17% for UK engineering).
  • The main reasons cited for hard-to-fill vacancies were a lack of applicants with required qualifications and skills (64% of those engineering establishments in Yorkshire and the Humber with hard-to-fill vacancies), a general lack of applicants (20%), and a lack of applicants with required working experience (18%).
  • 21% of engineering establishments in Yorkshire and the Humber reported skill gaps, a similar proportion to that within the UK as a whole. The incidence of reported skill gaps ranges from 28% of mechanical equipment establishments to 13% of other transport equipment establishments.
  • 24% of all engineering establishments within Yorkshire and the Humber employed apprentices or recognised trainees. However, this varies considerably by size of establishment, ranging from 44% of those employing 250 or more people to only 7% of those employing less than 10 people.

The sciences

There are four key company types at work in the region:

  • Entrepreneurial drug discovery and development
  • Tissue engineering and biomaterials
  • Contract Research Organisations (CROs)
  • Plant biotechnology

It should be noted that there is also a strong presence of pharmaceutical and medical device organisations. In addition, Yorkshire and Humberside has considerable strengths in areas such as surgical instrumentation, orthopaedics and advanced wound-care.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010 and Yorkshire and the Humber Engineering Skills Balance Sheet Executive Summary 2008