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Education and Training

The process and manufacturing sector has higher proportions of people qualified at level 2 than the manufacturing and the UK economy as a whole. The percentage of people qualified above level 3 are lower than manufacturing and the UK. Whilst this is partly down to the prevalence of lower level roles in the sector, there are still likely to be large numbers of people who do not have qualifications at the level relevant to their occupation.

The numbers of qualifications awarded in the sector has remained fairly constant over the last 5 years, although there have been some sub-sector improvements over the last two years. Registrations in the glass sub-sector increased sharply between 2006 and 2008, and achievements in the extractive and mineral processing sub-sector doubled between 2007 and 2008.

Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment 2010


5% of organisations in the sector have employees currently undergoing an Apprenticeship or Advanced Apprenticeship. Apprenticeship frameworks are available for all of the process and manufacturing sub-sectors, but some of these have only been introduced recently. In the furniture, glass and related industries, and printing sub-sectors, Apprenticeships frameworks have existed for over the four years. There has been a drop in the number of people completing the printing framework, but certifications for the glass framework have stayed relatively constant. Certifications for the furniture framework have almost doubled over the last year.

Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment 2010


47% of sector organisations conducted training in 2008, of which 16% provided both off and on-the-job training, 10% provided off-the-job training only and 20% provided on-the-job training only. In terms of employees, 75% of the workforce is in companies who have trained in the last 12 months.

The propensity to provide any training activity varies by sub-sector, with training levels highest within the extractive and mineral processing (66%), building products (62%) and paper (62%) sub-sectors.

Organisations based in Scotland are most likely to have conducted training over the last 12 months (56%, compared with 48% in Northern Ireland, 46% in England and 44% in Wales). Within England, training levels are highest within Yorkshire and the Humber (61%), while London (36%) has the lowest level.

Training is most likely to be provided for managers and process, plant and machine operatives. This is likely to reflect the fact that these occupational groups are those that are most widely employed across the sector. Training is least likely to be delivered to associate processional and technical staff and for professionals.

A majority of employers have expressed a strong preference for work-based, in-house solutions to training needs. The majority of training that takes place in the sector does not lead to nationally recognised qualifications. Across the sector, a minority of employers use colleges, but this is more common amongst larger companies.

Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment 2010 and The 2009 Employer Survey