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Plymouth Manufacturing Sector Growth Plan

Skills & Recruitment Issues - Revisited and
updated in February 2013

Jointly commissioned by the PMG and the Plymouth
Employment & Skills Board, SG Consulting undertook a major review of skills and recruitment issues just over a year ago in December 2011. Since then, initiatives such as the new University Technical College (UTC) at Devonport and the Engineering School rebuild at City College Plymouth have moved on apace, but aside from that, many of the entrenched longstanding problems remain, as little of substance has changed during the intervening period. This update is published for two reasons. Firstly, in response to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSW LEP) growing interest in the skills agenda and secondly to gather thoughts and ideas ahead of a possible second bid by the PMG under the Government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Fund. To view a draft copy of thereport click - here

A report has recently been published by SG Consulting entitled:

‘Review of the supply & demand of industrial sites & premises in the Plymouth travel-to-work-area. Issues for consideration & debate’.

It contains the following facts and/or statistics: -

Did you know that...

  1. While Plymouth was losing 2,200 manufacturing jobs over the four years between 2007 and 2011, 28 local authority areas in the country managed to increase theirs – including Cornwall by 1,600.
  2. By 2018, approx up to a fifth of all commercial properties are forecasted to have to be removed from the market because they will be either too energy inefficient or uneconomic to refurbish or both.
  3. The Boston Consulting Group forecasts that the relocation of manufacturing from China, will repatriate $100 billion in goods production to U.S. shores and directly and indirectly create 2 million to 3 million jobs. (In Shenzhen, China labour costs have surged by 20% a year for the past four years).
  4. Almost three-quarters of local authorities in the country have allocated employment sites that have not seen any development for over a decade.
  5. In a special survey for this report, 70% of local manufacturers said that they believe the supply of premises in the Plymouth TTWA is either ‘inadequate’ or ‘inappropriately located and priced’.
  6. One in six local manufacturing firms isn’t sure whether they will still be here in the Plymouth area in five year’s time or re-located somewhere else.
  7. One in five firms surveyed for this report operate from premises that are over fifty years old.
  8. The Heart of the SW LEP ranks 32nd out of 39 LEPs for foreign direct investment success with just 124 jobs created in 2011.
  9. Once HS2 is operational, rail travellers to London from Glasgow will take just thirty minutes longer to arrive in the capital (414 miles) than those from Plymouth (237 miles). They’ll be averaging 40mph faster than those coming up from the Westcountry.
  10. Prior to demolition, the Toshiba site in Ernesettle is/was costing its owner £300,000 pa in business rates alone while it was lying idle.

These facts and more are contained in this new report. To access an Executive Summary of the report please click here

Sponsors for this report are currently being sought. If this is of interest to you please contact:

Steve Gerry


Economic & Business Development Consultant


SG Consulting presents to Young Enterprise Managing Directors.

Steve Gerry has been acting in a voluntary capacity as a Young Enterprise Business Advisor for more years than he cares to remember!

On Thursday 21st October at the offices of Bond Pearce Solicitors, Steve was invited by the Plymouth Young Enterprise Board to give a talk exclusively to this year’s Managing Directors on the topic of leadership and their role in the YE Company Programme.

Steve said that, ‘Acting as a business advisor is a great source of enjoyment for me. I like the buzz of working with enthusiastic young people who find enterprise and entrepreneurship a refreshing change from their A Level studies’. He added that, ‘The Young Enterprise Company programme is a fantastic way to develop the sort of employability skills that today’s employers expect from their new recruits.

I very much look forward to seeing how the nine teams develop over forthcoming weeks as they prepare for the Christmas Trade Fair which this year will be held in Plymouth City Centre’s Piazza all day on the 3rd December.

SG Consulting celebrates five years supporting Great Torrington School's Emplyer Forum

Great Torrington School is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Employer Forum which is facilitated by Steve Gerry consulting. The Forum, which comprises a wide range of local employers that reflect the local economy, includes firms such as Babcock Marine, Simon RW, Anglo-Krempel, Thomas Westcott Accountants, Rosemoor RHS, The Soap Kitchen and public sector bodies including Torridge District Council and North Devon Plus.


Mike Clarke, former Deputy Headteacher said, ‘The Forum has played an invaluable role in helping staff to engage with the local business community. This is of growing importance if we are to continue to offer our students the opportunity to prepare for what lies ahead of them – namely, the world of work. Employers help in a variety of ways: by providing work experience opportunities and extended work placements; giving classroom and assembly talks to students; offering workplace visits and keeping staff in touch with apprenticeship opportunities’.