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Sector profile

  • Wales accounts for 6% of all engineering employment and 4% of all engineering establishments in Great Britain.
  • The engineering sector in Wales employs 79,600 people in 4,940 establishments.
  • Operators account for 37% of the engineering workforce in Wales, whilst technicians represent 14% of the workforce. Female workers are mainly found in operator/assembler, or administrative and clerical roles. Technical roles are staffed predominately by men particularly in the electronics industry.
  • 91% of engineering establishments in Wales employ less than 50 people.
  • The largest sectors in terms of employment are metal products, automotive, mechanical equipment and aerospace.
  • There are particular concentrations of employment in the basic metals and aerospace sectors when compared to Great Britain.
  • Engineering employment is geographically concentrated around Flintshire, Neath, Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda, Cynon and Taff, Bridgend and Wrexham.

Workforce demographics

  • 97% of the engineering workforce in Wales is employed on a full-time basis.
  • 84% of the engineering workforce in Wales is male.
  • 1% of the engineering workforce could be classed as non-white (6% for UK engineering).

Recruitment and Skills

  • Over 5,000 people were recruited into the engineering sector in Wales during March 2006/07.
  • 19% of engineering establishments in Wales 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 and a lack of applicants with required work experience.
  • 25% of engineering establishments in Wales reported skill gaps, somewhat more than the proportion within the UK (21%). The incidence of reported skill gaps ranges from 50% of other transport equipment establishments to 16% of electrical equipment and electronics establishments.
  • 23% of all engineering establishments within Wales employed apprentices or recognised trainees.

The sciences

Bioscience enterprise in Wales includes Diagnostics, Medical technology, Clinical trials and drug development, Systems biology, and Agricultural biotechnology.

Source: Semta LMI report March 2010 and Wales Engineering Skills Balance Sheet Executive Summary 2008, SEMTA 2006, Future Skills Wales 2005 and Wales regional report 2002