What is a Labour Market?
A labour market is a mechanism which matches potential employers of people – the demand for labour – with people who are available for work – the labour supply. Labour markets operate at local, regional, national and increasingly international levels, reflecting how economies operate.
There are hundreds of career options in the labour market, and thousands of jobs advertised on behalf of employers. Careers are generally grouped into similar types, called sectors.
|Sector||Areas of jobs/careers in this sector|
|Retail and Commercial Enterprise||Retail|
Hospitality & Catering
|Leisure, Travel & Tourism||Leisure & Sports|
|Business, Administration & Law||Accounting & Book keeping|
Business & Administration
Providing Financial Services
|Information & Communication Technology||ICT & Telecoms|
Large private sector companies
|Health, Public Services & Care||Health & Social Care|
Children & Youth Work
Pharmacy Services & Technicians
Libraries & Records Management
|Construction Planning & the Built Environment||Construction|
Electrical & Electronic Servicing
Air conditioning & Refrigeration
|Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies||Engineering & Technology|
Vehicle Maintenance & Repair
Bus & Coach Engineering & Maintenance
Bus & Coach Driving
Rail Transport Engineering & Services
Furniture & Interiors
|Art, Media & Publishing||Design|
Creative & Digital Media
Public, Private or Voluntary?
Sectors can also refer to whether a career or job is in the private, public or third sector.
The private sector refers to businesses that are privately owned, either by an individual or shareholders. Public sector jobs are those in the government or its associated agencies, while the Voluntary sector refers to voluntary organisations (also known as charities) that are generally non-profit making.
Opportunities within the Warwickshire economy
Where Job opportunities come from
Job opportunities come from two sources – new jobs are created as organisations and business change and grow, or existing jobs need to be filled as employees retire or move on to a different job. It is important to consider both of these routes to employment, as focussing on just one can sometimes be misleading or provide incomplete information.
- New jobs – it is clear that the new jobs being created will be more focussed around the current stronger parts of the economy, and with the skill sets that businesses need to exploit these opportunities. Within Warwickshire, the broad areas of the economy that are currently doing well are:
- Manufacturing and engineering – Warwickshire is home to both a number of large, world class manufacturing businesses and a wide range of smaller firms who have been experiencing strong growth in recent years. In particular, the UK (and Warwickshire in particular) is increasingly focussing on the research, development and testing of new products and manufacturing processes – as opposed to the more large-scale factory based manufacturing of goods. Such new areas include the development of new low carbon and more environmentally friendly vehicles, renewable energy, and the interactions between computers, software & applications, and motor vehicles. Occupations within these sectors are generally quite technical and highly skilled, requiring individuals to have a good understanding of science, technology and maths.
- Digital media and ICT – Warwickshire is home to a significant number of world leading software games and applications producers, and has strengths in website development and the application of digital media technologies into business and manufacturing activity. Again, occupations in this area of the economy are generally quite specialist and highly skilled, with a focus on science, technology and maths.
- Distribution & Logistics – Warwickshire is extremely well located in the centre of the country and close to many key transport routes (by road, rail and air). As such, the county has attracted many distribution & logistics companies who employ a large number of people. Occupations within this sector can be quite varied, from highly skilled logistical planning and freight management, to drivers and office work (accounts, sales, marketing, etc.), to more entry level picking and packing work in distribution centres.
- Health and social care – Warwickshire has a large and growing elderly population, creating increasing demand for adult social care services. There is significant growth in the provision of care homes and assisted living to help older people stay in their own homes. Again, this broad sector has a range of occupations, to highly qualified medical work to more entry level care activity.
- Existing jobs – these are much more varied, and can occur across the whole economy. However, there are clearly increased employment opportunities within industries that have a higher proportion of older workers (and so facing more opportunities through retirement) or in those areas that have a high level of staff turnover. These include service sector employment jobs in:
- Hotels and restaurants,
- Adult Care
Skills demanded by employers
When considering the skills that are being demanded by employers, there are two broad areas to look at. The first are the particular technical or specialist skills that are demanded for that particular employer/business sector. The need for these technical skills are clearly the priority for employers, as they need individuals who can do the work that is required.
However, beyond these technical skills, employers frequently identify the need for softer skills that are not necessarily directly related to the job in question but which are seen as fundamental requirements for employment. These softer skills include dealing with customers, communication skills, team working, etc.
The chart below highlights the main gaps in skills identified by businesses in Warwickshire when they are looking to fill their job vacancies.
Source: National Employers Skills Survey 2009