SEMLEP is a £39 billion economy, double the size of Liverpool. It has around 1.8 million people, with a working age population of over 1.1 million.
The South East Midlands has a highly skilled workforce with over half of the working age population in employment working in managerial, professional, technical and skilled occupations.
The area has a business portfolio of over 78,000 businesses with a particularly strong foundation in Advanced Manufacturing, High Performance Technology, Precision Engineering, Logistics, value added Food and Drink, Life Sciences and Creative Industries.
In our 2014 Business Survey, 38% of businesses said that they have a skills shortage, with advanced IT skills, sales and marketing skills and job specific skills the most common skills shortages, and over two-thirds have found it difficult to recruit in the last year.
Some sectors particularly face difficulties recruiting young people and identifying a future talent pipeline for their business. For example, only 20% of South East Midlands logistics employers have recruited at least one education leaver to their first job on leaving education in the last 12 months.
It is also acknowledged nationally that women are currently underrepresented in Science, Engineering and Technology professions which cuts across a lot of our sectors. In fact, only 2.5% of women work in Science, Engineering and Technology professions in the South East Midlands. This compares to 9% of men.
Our goal is to ensure that with a projected population growth of 10% in the next 10 years, and one of the fastest-growing housing market in the UK, that people entering the workforce have the skills required and are aware of the job opportunities locally across the South East Midlands.