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The UK confectionery sub-sector includes: the manufacture of cocoa and chocolate confectionery; as well as the manufacture of sugar confectionery. It includes many well known organisations, such as Nestlé, Cadbury and Thorntons.

There are 20,600 people working in the confectionery sub-sector across Great Britain, which represents 5% of those employed in Great Britain’s food and drink manufacturing sector.

There are over 300 workplaces in the sub-sector. 6% of businesses employ 200 or more staff, 63% employ 10 or less staff.

Jobs in the sub-sector range from: quality assurance manager, production assistant, multi-skilled engineer, new product development manager, sugar confectioner, chocolatier

Workforce statistics:

  • 61% of the workforce is male.
  • 87% of the workforce is white, 11% Asian/British Asian, 2% Black/Black British and 1% from other ethnic groups
  • More than 5,800 migrant workers (non-UK nationals) are estimated to be working in the sub-sector.
  • 18% of the workforce is aged 30-34 years, 16% is 40 44 years and 14% is 50-54 years.
  • 20% of the workforce is 50 years or older.
  • 32% of the current workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next 20 years.
  • 9% of the workforce has some form of work limited disability.
  • 27% of the workforce has a degree or equivalent qualification.
  • The highest qualification for majority of the workforce is GCSE grades A-C (16%) or A Levels (19%).
  • 12% of the workforce has no qualifications.
  • 91% of the workforce is employed full-time.

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

Confectionery workforce by region, 2000 and 2007


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

Occupational profile of the confectionery workforce, 2008


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