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The UK beer sub-sector covers Breweries (making beer and other products) and the manufacture and brewing of: Ale; Beer; Black beer; Lager; Low and non-alcoholic beer; Porter; and Stout. It includes many well-known companies (such as Carlsberg, Scottish & Newcastle and Greene King). The manufacture of beer sub-sector accounts for 37% of the total number employed in the beverages sector in Great Britain.

There are over 13,900 people working in the beer sub-sector, which represents 3% of those employed in Great Britain’s food and drink manufacturing sector. 5% of businesses employ 200 or more staff, 79% employ 10 or less staff.

Within the beverages sub-sector (which includes beer and soft drinks) demand is high for some specialist roles, with employers finding it increasingly difficult to recruit workers. Demand is high for new product development, quality assurance roles, and engineers (the engineer’s role in this sub-sector requires a broader base of engineering skills; mechanical, electrical, and some computing).

There is a demand for workers who: are motivated; are team players; have the right attitude; and have good communication skills. Other skills needed for managerial roles include people management, IT skills, sales strategy, financial management and human resources skills.

Jobs in the sub-sector range from: quality assurance manager, multi-skilled engineers, bottling manager, product development manager, brewer, beer controller

Workforce statistics:

  • 69% of the workforce is male.
  • 98% of the workforce is white, 1% Asian/British Asian and 1% Black/Black British
  • 22% of the workforce is aged 35-39 years and 16% is 45-49 years.
  • 22% of the workforce is 50 years or older.
  • 38% of the current workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next 20 years.
  • 4% of the workforce has some form of work limited disability.
  • 16% of the workforce has a degree or equivalent qualification.
  • The highest qualification for majority of the workforce is GCSE grades A-C (27%) or A Levels (25%).
  • 10% of the workforce has no qualifications.
  • 99% of the workforce is permanent.

Source: Improve AACS LMI report 2010 and Beer Labour Market information profile 2009/10

Beer manufacturing workforce by region, 2000 and 2007


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

Occupational profile of the UK beer manufacturing workforce, 2008


Source: Beer Labour Market information profile 2009/10, page 6. Data derived from the Labour Force Survey 2008.