For the East Midlands, with its strong industrial tradition and rural communities, recent figures show that employment in the region continues to grow with the manufacturing service sector and industrial employers at the heart of the economy. Along with its rolling countryside, and leisure and entertainment facilities, the East Midlands can be defined by its combination of high employment and a predominance of jobs which require limited skills and pay lower wages. Although ranked 37th among the 77 EU regions, the East Midlands' economic structure is considered poor, due to consistencies in growth levels undermined by low levels of GBP per head.
However, employers are growing in confidence and in the last year the region's employment level has risen from 15,000 to 2.05 million. As a result of recent international investment, thousands of new jobs were created in the East Midlands last year, half of which were supported by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA).
So who are the main employers in the East Midlands and where are they located? In the manufacturing sector, employers include Weetabix in Burton Latimer, Triumph Motorcycles in Hinckley, Siemens in Lincoln, Rolls-Royce in Derby, Noble in Barwell, as well as Caterpillar. All have chosen the region for their headquarters.
Coal production, once a common source of income in Nottinghamshire and the north of Derbyshire, left many mines in the region. Nowadays, two pits still produce coal in Nottinghamshire and there's a steelworks in Corby.
Retail employers in the region include: Thorntons , Wilkinson, Boots, Dunelm Mill, Next, Jessops, East Midlands Electricity, and many more. With an impressive array of big company names offering jobs in East Midlands, it is not surprising that the region is known for its high employee standards.
More companies are drawn to the East Midlands with the lure of low operating costs, high living standards, rapid transport links, and impressive regeneration plans. High street shops are a popular job choice in the East Midlands and many students and full-time workers are employed on shop floors. Retail assistants, cashiers, and store detectives are always in demand. The region is also known for its small companies and is a thriving area for new business, as well as established companies with household names. Graduates are always on the lookout for new opportunities and graduate-level jobs in the East Midlands, while more and more graduates flock to the region each year—around 48,000. The East Midlands attracts applications from graduates in the South East, West Midlands, and Eastern region with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University remaining key attractions for students.
With the seeming availability of promising jobs for those leaving university in the East Midlands, why would some students choose to leave in search of jobs elsewhere? While there are graduate-level jobs in the East Midlands, recent graduates often move to London or other regions across the UK. Like many other regions in the UK, the East Midlands loses more graduates than it gains, and this affects job opportunities for skilled employees. One way to improve the 'lost graduates' issue is to advertise available graduate-level employment opportunities to future graduates, as well as past graduates who left the region to find employment elsewhere.
Globally renowned for transport technology, including automotive, aerospace, and rail, the East Midlands has strong research development opportunities with a focus on drug development, medical devices, food and drink technologies, and renewable energy sources.
Roughly 20,000 people work in creative media industries in the East Midlands—a staggering 4% of the industry's UK workforce. One of the employers, Northcliffe, launched its East Midlands regional business site to oversee five of its titles working together to supply news to the area. Therefore, the region is a good employment zone for journalists and subs.
Call centre operators are also high in demand in the East Midlands, with similar jobs growing all the time in the UK, along with demand for quality customer services. Fewer companies are basing their call centres abroad, in a move to make customer interaction more personable. Many companies are hiring more commercial associates, call centre technicians, and customer service advisors than ever before in both temporary and permanent positions.
Alternatively, like five million other people in the UK, why not work from home? More people than ever before are working from the comfort of their own homes, while those who work in offices are encouraged to take up healthier lifestyles, courtesy of the Government Offices for the East Midlands.
But, like the rest of the UK, the East Midlands is suffering in recruitment with a distinct lack of skilled workers available. Recruitment difficulties are the main concern for many local businesses and organizations. Human resource roles in particular, including compensation, benefits, and finance roles, seem to face the biggest shortage due to under recruitment and over-zealous redundancies. This is furthered along by the credit crunch and financial shortfalls many companies currently face throughout the UK.
However, with a growing population forecast to grow by 13.9% between 2004 and 2009, the region has a valuable resource of graduates and talented recruits making it one of the fastest growing workforces in the UK.