The process and manufacturing sector contains over 800,000 people across the UK, and over 97,000 people work in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Around 73% of the companies in the sector in Yorkshire and the Humber have fewer than 10 employees, and although only 2% of companies have more than 200 employees, they represent nearly a third of the total workforce. The sector workforce in the Yorkshire & the Humber is dominated by male workers (75%), although the proportion of women in the sector is rising year on year.
Around 26% of employees in Yorkshire and the Humber sector fall into the skilled trades occupational category, and a similar percentage are classed as process, plant and machine operatives (23%). 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.
34% of companies in Yorkshire and the Humber reported a decline in sales over the last year, compared with just 11% in 2006.
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 viable response to the recession. Some 13% of the sector report specific skills gaps in their existing workforces
Around 13% of companies in Yorkshire and the Humber report skill gaps. These exist across the range of occupational groups, but are most common in the Yorkshire & the Humber amongst skilled trades (18% of occupational group), managers (18% of occupational group), and process, plant and machine operatives also (18%). The most common specific skill gaps are those of a technical, practical or job-specific nature.
Higher proportions of the sector workforce are qualified to level 2 than in the UK workforce as a whole, but there are lower proportions of employees qualified at level 3 and above.
Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment – England 2010
The Yorkshire and the Humber sector profile, 2007/08
Source: Proskills Sector Skills Assessment – England 2010, annex J. Data derived from the Annual Business Inquiry 2007 and the Labour Force Survey 2008.