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East Midlands

The process and manufacturing sector contains over 800,000 people across the UK, and over 84,000 people work in the East Midlands.

Around 76% of the companies in the sector in the East Midlands have fewer than 10 employees, and although only 2% of companies have more than 200 employees, they represent 27% of the total workforce. The sector workforce in the East Midlands is dominated by male workers (77%), although the proportion of women in the sector is rising year on year.

Around 23% of employees in the East Midlands sector are in the process, plant and machine operatives occupational category, and similar percentages are classed as skilled trades (22%) or managers (22%). Recent forecasts suggest that employment in manual and semi-skilled roles will continue to decrease as this shift progresses, but also that there will be a simultaneous rise in higher level managerial and technical roles.

Around a third of all employers in the sector recognise that there is a vital need for improved skills, both in their own workforces and in the pools from which they recruit, and around a fifth sees improving skills as a key factor over the next three years. Some 12% of the employers in the region report specific skills gaps in their existing workforces.

The proportion of companies with vacancies has more than halved to around 5%.

34% of companies in the East Midlands reported a decline in sales over the last year, compared with just 11% in 2006.

Around 12% of companies in the East Midlands report skill gaps. These exist across the range of occupational groups, but are most common in the East Midlands amongst process, plant & machine operatives (14% of occupational group), administrative & secretarial (6%) and managers (5%). The most common specific skill gaps are those of a technical, practical or job-specific nature.

50% employers with skill gaps report that skill issues are costing their businesses money, and that 60% of those with skill gaps, see increasing training activity as the best response.

Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment – England 2010

The East Midlands sector profile, 2007/08


Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment – England 2010, annex C. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2007 and the Labour Force Survey 2008.