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East Midlands

In the East Midlands, there are around 41,100 employees in the sector. Employment levels are expected to decline in the period 2004 to 2014. The polymer industry dominates the region, particularly plastics and rubber manufacturing. However, high technology engineering and the supply chain for food and drink are noted as employment priorities for the region

9% of the sector’s employers are located in the region which is 1,700 employers. 64% of employers employ fewer than 10 people, which is much lower than the regional figure of 82%.

The mean weekly pay for the region is £405.00, compared to £381.50 for the whole sector in the UK.

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

  • over 80% of the workforce are employed full-time
  • 8-9% of the workforce is aged 16-24 years, compared to 15% of the region’s workforce
  • 38% of the workforce is over 45 years, which is in line with the overall regional workforce
  • 70% of the sector workforce is male
  • 94% of the workforce is white, compared to 95% of the region’s workforce
  • 49% of the workforce in the region have a Level 3 or above qualification, which is in line with the overall regional workforce

Changes in occupational structure of the sector are comparable to other regions with a projected rise of 3% in management occupations. Operator and technician occupations are projected to decline by around 2,000 over the next 10 years. However, employers in the region believe that growth in the polymers industry in the region will lead to a growth in demand for operator and technician occupations. In the East Midlands, a very high proportion of the workforce are Process, plant & machine operatives.

There is a deficit of people with qualifications at Level 2 (15%) and Level 3 (12%).

Approximately 13% of employers are reporting skills gaps. 77% of employers in the region provide or fund training for employees, which is higher than the national average of 68%. 16% of organisations report vacancies and 6% of employers in the sector reported hard-to-fill vacancies.

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