Being able to identify the growth industries in your region (as we demonstrated in Part 1) is a good place to start a more effective employer engagement strategy, since it can help you narrow down the sorts of industries that are likely to respond well to your approach. However, knowing that an industry is likely to grow is just one side of the coin. The other side is the ability to understand which occupations it employs.
A point that is often overlooked in understanding this is that almost every industry will employ a number of occupations that you wouldn’t necessarily directly associate with them. For instance, if we were to ask the question which occupations are employed in the construction industry, no doubt jobs like carpenter, plumber and bricklayer would all come up. This is true, of course, but there are a number of other occupations that are employed within Construction that wouldn’t necessarily tend to spring to mind, but which are vital parts of the sector nevertheless.
Let’s examine this by looking at some more data. As we did in Part 1, we will continue looking at Enterprise M3, and again we’ll start by looking at some industry data. However, unlike in Part 1, where we looked across all SIC-4 industries, this time we’ll look at one particular SIC-1 industry – Construction – and break it down into its underlying 4-digit SIC sectors.
The following chart shows the Top 10, according to projected growth in each SIC-4 sector from 2017-2022:
As the data shows, there is healthy growth in a number of these specific construction industries, with Construction of residential and non-residential buildings, and Development of building projects showing particularly strong projected growth over the coming years. But which occupations do these sectors employ?
Because of the way our data is modelled, we can identify the occupational make up of any industry, down to the 4- digit SIC level, for any area of the country. So if we take the industry within Construction which is projected to see the highest growth in the Enterprise M3 LEP Region – Construction of residential and non-residential buildings – we can run a Staffing Pattern to see which occupations are employed in this sector. The graphic below shows the Top 10 occupations in terms of job numbers in the sector:
The data is very interesting for a number of reasons. To begin with, many of the highest employing occupations are not those that we might automatically associate with the Construction of residential and non-residential buildings. For instance, the sector employs over 400 administrative occupations and more than 300 Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks in the region.
Secondly, there are some occupations that take up a surprising position in the Top 10. For instance, Production managers and directors in construction is the highest employing occupation, making up almost 11% of total employment in the sector. This contrasts with occupations like Bricklayers and masons, and Electricians and electrical fitters, both of which are jobs that would instantly come to mind when thinking about this industry, but which make up only 3% and 2.6% of employment in the industry respectively.
Then thirdly, there are a number of occupations that don’t make it into the Top 10, which we would probably have expected to be there. For instance, Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers, and Painters and decorators, make up just 2.2% and 2% of the industry in this region respectively.
In terms of employer engagement, the importance of this sort of data at the regional level cannot be overstated. By identifying the growth industries in your region, you can narrow down the sorts of employers that are likely to be responsive to your attempts to engage. But by delving down into those industries to identify which occupations they employ, you can be far better prepared to enter into engagement conversations with businesses in the sector, understanding their employment make up, what this might mean in terms of their future growth, and how your organisation can respond with courses, apprenticeships and partnerships that meet these needs.
We’d love to hear about how you are currently engaging employers, the specific challenges you are having, and whether we can help make this process more targeted.