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North East


  • There are approximately 7,400 sector establishments in the North East.
  • 69% of these establishments are ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’ or ‘restaurants’.
  • Durham has the largest number of sector establishments in the North East.


  • Approximately 89,800 people work in the sector in the North East.
  • 25% of all those working in the sector work in ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’.
  • 66% of the workforce is female.
  • 56% of the workforce is employed on a part-time basis.
  • The sector employs a young workforce. Around 2 fifths of the workforce is aged under 25.


  • Over half of the workforce in the North East work in ‘elementary occupations’, such as kitchen assistants, waiting staff and bar staff.
  • Approximately 68,000 people work in core occupations.


  • There were 1,270 vacancies in core occupations advertised in Jobcentres in the North East in May 2009.
  • The largest number of vacancies was for kitchen and catering assistants, chefs and cooks and bar staff.
  • 7% of sector establishments reported that they had hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 8% across the whole economy.
  • 52% of employers report that hard-to-fill vacancies are proving hard-to-fill due to a lack of people with the appropriate skills.

Workforce skills

  • Almost a third of the sector’s workforce is qualified to Level 2 and almost a quarter are qualified to Level 3.
  • 21% of the workforce is qualified to Level 1 and entry level, 16% hold no qualifications at all and only 12% are qualified to Level 4 and above.
  • Around a quarter of employers in the North East reported skills gaps in their current workforce.
  • Employers report that 10% of staff are believed to be not fully proficient in their jobs.

Source: North East Regional Profile and Skills Needs Assessment 2009