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North West


  • There are approximately 20,900 establishments in the North West.
  • 69% of these establishments are ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’ or ‘restaurants’.
  • Lancashire has the largest number of establishments in the North West.
  • Over 3 quarters of hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism establishments employ between 1 and 10 people.


  • Approximately 222,000 people work in the sector in the North West.
  • Over a quarter of all those working in the sector work in ‘restaurants’.
  • 56% of the workforce is female.
  • Over half of the workforce is employed on a full-time basis.
  • The sector in the North West employs a young workforce, almost 2 fifths of the workforce is aged between 16-24 years.


  • 48% of the workforce work in what are classified as ‘elementary occupations’, such as kitchen assistants, waiting staff and bar staff.
  • Approximately 160,200 people work in core occupations.


  • The number of vacancies being advertised for core sector jobs in Jobcentres in the North West fell from 5,244 in May 2008 to 4,127 in May 2009.
  • The largest number of vacancies were for ‘kitchen and catering assistants’, ‘chefs, cooks’, ‘bar staff’ and ‘waiting staff’.
  • 8% of sector establishments report they have hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 8% across the whole economy.

Workforce skills

  • 31% of the sector’s workforce is qualified to Level 2 with 22% qualified to Level 1 and entry levels. 20% have qualifications at Level 3.
  • 15% have qualifications at Level 4 and above whilst 12% hold no qualifications.
  • 16% of employers in the North West reported skills gaps in their current workforce.
  • Employers report that 8% of staff are not fully proficient in their jobs.

Source: North West Regional Profile and Skills Needs Assessment 2009