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South West

The health sector employs 182,187 people, which accounts for 8.2% of all employment in the region. The South West employs 10.8 % of the total health sector workforce for England. Devon has the largest proportion of the South West workforce with 13%.

The private sector accounts for 30% of all employment across the sector or 60,700 employees.

There is one health sector employee for every 28 resident people.

Vacancies in the health and social work sector account for 12% of all Industry vacancies. 20% of establishments within the South West health sector report skills gaps within their workforce. Employers within the health sector cite written communication and technical and practical skills as their main skills gaps.

The South West, alongside London, experienced the largest percentage of growth in employees of 32.8% between 1998 and 2008. Between 2007 and 2017, the total requirement for workforce will be approximately 105,000 people. This is the total of the predicted expansion plus replacement demand.

Workforce statistics:

  • 79% of the workforce is female.
  • The percentage of the healthcare workforce aged 16-24 years is 7% in the region, compared with 15% in the whole economy.
  • 8% of the workforce is from a non-white ethnic background, compared with 3% in the whole economy.
  • 57% of the workforce is qualified to NVQ Level 4 or above.

Source: Skills for Health AACS LMI report 2010 and South West Regional Briefing 2009


Changes in the health sector workforce in the South West, 2007 - 2017

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Notes: *Net Requirement is a total of the estimated expansion of jobs plus replacement demand.

All figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Source: South West Regional Briefing 2009, Table 26. Data from Working Futures 2007-2017 based on CE/IER estimates.


Health sector employees by local authority in the South West, 2007

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Source: South West Regional Briefing 2009, Table 6. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2007 and the 2009 Mid-Year Population Estimates (from Nomis).