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Manufacture of oils and fats

The UK oils and fats sub-sector includes the manufacture of: crude oils and fats; refined oils and fats; and margarine and similar edible fats. The sub- sector employs 1,600 people across 100 workplaces. Sector employment is concentrated in Yorkshire and Humber (32%), the East of England (31%) and London (19%). 55% of workplaces have between 1 and 10 staff and 8% have 200 or more staff.

The majority of workers are described as being employed in Skilled Trades roles (28%), Professional roles (21%) and Process, Plant and Machine Operative roles (21%).

Between 2000 and 2007, the sub-sector experienced a reduction of almost 1,100 employees from 2,700 to 1,600 workers (a 40% reduction in employment levels). The short supply of Managers and Senior Officials in the sub- sector reflects the UK food and drink manufacturing sector ’s future demand for approximately 45,000 between 2007-2017.

Workforce statistics:

  • 75% of the workforce is male.
  • 5% of the workforce is aged 16-29 years, 45% 30-49 years and 50% is aged 50 plus years.
  • 5% of the workforce is registered as DDA disabled and have a work-limiting disability.
  • 40% of the workforce is self-employed.
  • 35% of the workforce has a degree or equivalent qualification, 20% A levels or equivalent, 17% has other qualifications and 29% has no qualifications

Source: Manufacture of oils and fats Labour Market information profile 2009/10


Oil and fats manufacturing workforce by region, 2000 and 2007

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Source: Manufacture of oils and fats Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 2. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2000 and 2007.

Occupational profile of the oils and fats manufacturing workforce, 2008

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Source: Manufacture of oils and fats Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 6. Data derived from the Labour Force Survey 2008.