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West Midlands

Sector establishments

  • There are approximately 14,900 sector establishments in the West Midlands.
  • 72% of these establishments are ‘restaurants’ or ‘pubs, bars and nightclubs’.
  • Birmingham has the largest number of sector establishments in the West Midlands.
  • Over 3 quarters of sector establishments employ between 1 and 10 people.


  • Approximately 157,500 people work in the sector in the West Midlands.
  • Almost a quarter of all those working in the sector work in restaurants.
  • 67% of people working in the sector are female.
  • There is an even split between workers who work on full and part-time basis.
  • Almost a fifth of the sector workforce in the West Midlands is aged 16-19 years, while a further 16% are between 20-24 years.


  • Almost half of the workforce works in elementary occupations, such as kitchen assistants, waiting staff and bar staff.
  • Approximately 20% of the workforce is in manager and senior official roles, 14% work in skilled trades and the remaining in technical.


  • The number of vacancies being advertised for core sector jobs in Jobcentres in the West Midlands in May 2009 was 2,157.
  • The largest number of vacancies were for ‘kitchen and catering assistants’, ‘chefs, cooks’, ‘bar staff’ and ‘waiting staff’.
  • 7% of sector establishments report they have hard-to-fill vacancies, compared with 8% across the whole economy.
  • 24% of vacancies in the sector in the West Midlands are proving hard-to-fill and 67% of these are proving hard-to-fill due to a lack of people with the appropriate skills

Workforce skills

  • 30% of the workforce is qualified to Level 2. Almost a quarter of the workforce is qualified to Level 1 or entry level. 18% are qualified to Level 3. 15% hold no qualifications. 13% are qualified to Level 4 and above.
  • 19% of employers in the West Midlands reported skills gaps in their current workforce.
  • Employers report that 7% of staff are not fully proficient in their jobs.

Source: West Midlands Regional Profile and Skills Needs Assessment 2009