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East Midlands

The East Midlands food and drink manufacturing sector generates £6.2billion turnover annually, accounting for 10% of England’s sector turnover. The sector employs an estimated 52,500 people. It accounts for 15% of the food and drink manufacturing sector’s workforce in England. Sector employment is concentrated in Lincolnshire (27%), Northamptonshire (20%), Nottinghamshire (15%), Derbyshire (13%) and Leicestershire (12%).

There are more than 800 workplaces in the sector, accounting for 9% of English sector workplaces. 60% of staff work in organisations of between 1 and 10 staff, and 9% work in organisations of over 200 staff.

The East Midlands food and drink sector makes up 18% of the region’s total manufacturing workforce.

The mean gross weekly pay in the East Midlands food and drink sector is £508 per week.

Between 2000 and 2007, 6,600 jobs were lost, equivalent to a 11% drop in employment levels (a smaller decline than the UK sector average of -17%). The meat, other food, bakery, and fruit and vegetable processing sub-sectors dominate East Midlands employment in the sector.

Workforce statistics:

  • 65% of the workforce is male.
  • Males tend to dominate in the dairy, and milling and starches sub-sectors and women account for a greater than average share in the confectionery and bakery sub-sectors.
  • Between 2000 and 2007, the male share of the workforce declined from 36,500 to 34,000 workers (-7% drop in employment levels), whereas the female share of the workforce declined from 22,600 to 18,500 workers (-18% drop in numbers).
  • 92% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • 17% of all female workers are employed part-time, compared with 4% of all male workers.
  • The majority of employees are aged 20-24 years (14%) and 25-29 years (16%).
  • A third of the current workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next 20 years.
  • 93% of employees are white, 6% are Asian or Asian British, and 1% Other Ethnic Group.
  • 10,100 non-UK nationals are estimated to be working in the sector.
  • 8% of sector workers have some form of work-limiting disability, 2% are registered as work-limiting disabled only and 6% are registered as DDA disabled and work-limiting disabled. A further 4% are registered as DDA disabled.
  • 1% of people working sector are self-employed.
  • 3,300 workers (8%) in the sector have no qualifications, a lower proportion than the UK sector average (14.
  • 7,600 workers (18%) in the sector hold their highest qualification at Level 4 or above.

Vacancies and skills:

  • 16% of employers in the sector report vacancies, which are mainly in the dairy, confectionery, and other food sub-sectors.
  • 31% of those companies reporting vacancies, consider some of their vacancies to be hard-to-fill.
  • 15% of sector employers have workforce skills gaps.
  • Total employment in the sector is forecast to fall by approximately 2% between 2007-2017.
  • Despite the decline in employment numbers, projections indicate that the sector in the region will need 19,000 new recruits between 2007-2017.
  • 28% of employers reported that courses required were not available locally, especially specialist courses in meat, bakery and dairy.

Source: East Midlands Labour Market Information Profile 2009/2010