Sector skills councils directory

Sector: Property services

Asset Skills is the sector skills council for the management and maintenance of the built environment, which encompasses property, housing, facilities management and cleaning.

It includes town planners, facilities managers, surveyors, housing managers, estate agents, cleaners and caretakers. There are 121,000 businesses and 803,000 employees in the sector, including:

  • 330,000 employees in property services and housing.
  • 61,000 employees in facilities management.
  • 412,000 employees in cleaning.

More than 90% of firms employ fewer than 10 people. The sector accounts for 7% of GDP.

Tel: 01392 423399
E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Retail motor

Automotive Skills is the sector skills council for the motor industry. It includes the sale, maintenance, and repair of the UK’s 32 million vehicles from cars, motorcycles, vans and lorries to ambulances, military and agricultural vehicles.

Businesses include:

  • Motor manufacturers’ national sales organisations.
  • Franchised and independent dealers.
  • Bodyshops.
  • Retail and wholesale parts.
  • Fast-fit outlets.
  • Rental and leasing firms.
  • Roadside rescue firms.

Apart from Northern Ireland and the self-employed, there are 67,360 firms with 519,000 workers. They generate £139bn in turnover with gross value added of £25bn.

The sector is dominated by small firms, with more than 87% employing fewer than 10 workers.

Tel: 01992 511521

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Chemical, nuclear, oil and gas

Cogent is the sector skills council for the chemical, nuclear, oil, gas, petroleum and polymer industries. The sector includes:

  • 240,000 employed in the manufacture of chemicals.
  • 50,000 nuclear workers.
  • 86,000 polymer workers.

Plus 150,000 direct and several thousand contract workers in the downstream petroleum industry.

Tel: 01925 515200

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Construction

ConstructionSkills is a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Construction Industry Council and CITB Northern Ireland. It covers the industry from crafts to professions across the whole of the UK.

  • Construction is the UK’s biggest employer and exporter, contributing more than 8% of the UK’s GDP.
  • It employs more than 2.1 million people (one in 14 of the workforce) with an annual output of £28bn.
  • There are 175,000 building companies (95% employ fewer than 10 people) and 23,500 professional practices employing 450,000 people.
  • Some 88,000 recruits will be needed each year for five years.

Tel: 01485 577577

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Creative

Creative & Cultural Skills is the sector skills council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, visual and literary arts, in which about 945,000 people work.

  • Creative industries have been growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole over the past decade. They now account for 8% of GDP.
  • Nine out of 10 people in these industries are self-employed.
  • About 17% of creative and cultural industry businesses say they suffer from skills shortages.
  • A decade ago, one in 61 UK students was on an art and design course. In 2003, that had risen to one in 16, or 132,675 students, while there are only 70,000 jobs.
  • About 40% of the workforce is in professional and technical positions.

Tel: 020 7089 5866

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Electricity, gas, waste management and water

Energy & Utility Skills is the sector skills council for electricity, gas, water and waste management.

It covers:

  • Generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
  • Storage, transmission, distribution, metering, supply and installation of natural and liquefied petroleum gas.
  • Collection, recycling, recovery, treatment and final management of waste.
  • Transportation of water from source to property boundaries (clean water) or water course (waste water).
  • Utility contracting.

The sector accounts for 7.5% of GDP with a turnover of £70bn. It employs 522,000 people.

Tel: 0845 077 9922

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: IT and telecommunications

e-skills UK is a not-for-profit employer-led organisation, licensed by the government as the sector skills council for information technology, telecoms and contact centres.

The UK IT industry generates a total gross value added per job of £30bn, which is nearly 5% of the economy.

The workforce covered by e-skills UK is 5.7% of the country’s working population. It includes:

  • 493,000 employees who work in companies that are solely dedicated to IT work.
  • 579,000 who work in the IT departments of companies that are not directly involved in IT.
  • 274,000 in the telecoms industry.
  • In addition, there are 850,000 people who work in the call-centre industry for 5,320 organisations.
  • Some 20 million people use IT during the course of their daily work.

Tel: 020 7963 8920

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Financial services

The Financial Services Skills Council is an independent, employer-led organisation, providing strategic leadership for education, training and skills development in the financial services industry.

It aims to improve productivity and business performance by ensuring that the industry is equipped with the range of skills that it needs.

  • It consists of more than 35,000 companies and generates more than 5% of GDP.
  • It has a turnover of more than £46bn each year and employs more than one million people.

The council sets performance standards for the sector including: banking building societies insurance companies and brokers independent financial advisers investment administration and pensions advisers.

Tel: 020 7216 7366

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Passenger transport

GoSkills is the sector skills council for passenger transport. It employs about 772,000 people in:

  • Rail: 500 companies employing 48,000 people.
  • Bus and coach: 7,900 companies employing 207,000 people.
  • Aviation: 2,100 companies employing 121,000 people.
  • Driver training: 27,000 people.
  • Community transport: 100,000 people.
  • Transport planning: 16,000 people.

Tel: 0121 635 5520

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: The Civil Service

Government Skills is the sector skills council for central government covering 776,000 staff in 324 organisations across the UK. It includes:

  • Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence (270,000 staff in all).
  • All departments and agencies in the Civil Service accounting for 500,000 staff (departments work with the government to formulate policies, while agencies deliver them).
  • Non-departmental public bodies, which are publicly funded but which carry out functions at arm’s length from the government.

Tel: 020 7276 1611

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Food and drink manufacturing

Improve Ltd is the sector skills council for the food and drink industries.

  • The food and drink sector has an annual turnover of £66bn.
  • It employs 650,000 people in more than 7,000 businesses ranging from big companies to small bakeries.
  • The sector is responsible for £20bn of UK GDP and represents 17% of all manufacturers.

Tel: 0845 644 0448

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Environmental and land

Lantra is the sector skills council for the environmental and land sector. It is responsible for training developments in these following industries:

  • Land management and production (crops, livestock, fish, fencing, floristry).
  • Land-based engineering, production (horticulture, trees and timber).
  • Animal health and welfare (equine industry, farriery, veterinary nursing).
  • Environmental industries (conservation, game and wildlife management, fisheries, landscaping).

About 1.5 million people are involved in these industries, of whom 40% are in farming. A third are volunteers and 94% of businesses employ fewer than five people.

Young people wanting to find out more about careers in land management, animal health and welfare or environmental conservation can access Lantra’s careers website at Mature entrants should access

Tel: 0845 707 8007

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Community learning and further/higher education

Lifelong Learning UK is the sector skills council responsible for the professional development of those working in lifelong learning.

The sector has five sub-sectors employing the following staff:

  • Community learning and development: 500,000
  • Further education: 280,000
  • Higher education: 420,000 (50% non-academic)
  • Libraries, archives and information: 50,000
  • Work-based learning: 70,000

Tel: 0870 757 7890

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism

People 1st represents the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industries.

  • They generate more than £42bn a year, which amounts to about 4% of GDP.
  • The sector employs 1.9 million people in more than 180,000 organisations.
  • It contributes £21.5bn a year to the Treasury and has grown solidly since 1996.

People 1st talks to employers to assess their needs in terms of the right number of people with the right skills and qualifications at the right time.

It talks to government and colleges to ensure that courses are funded and sets national occupational standards. And it also develops and implements regional strategy.

Tel: 0870 060 2550

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Process and manufacturing

Proskills UK is the sector skills council for the process and manufacturing sector. It includes coatings, extractives, glass, building products and printing.

  • The sector has a combined turnover of £29bn.
  • It employs 454,000 people in 27,500 companies.
  • However, most employ fewer than 25 people.

Tel: 01235 833844

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Science, engineering and manufacturing

Semta is the sector skills council for the science, engineering and manufacturing industries.

The sector provides 10% of GDP – £74bn a year – and more than one-third of UK exports.

Covering more than 90,000 companies, it employs 1.9 million people in:

  • Aerospace: 164,000
  • Automotive: 261,000
  • Electronics: 318,000
  • Electrical equipment: 179,000
  • Marine: 43,000
  • Mechanical equipment: 356,000
  • Metals: 45,000
  • Biotech: 60,000

Tel: 01923 238441

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Sport and recreation

SkillsActive is the sector skills council for active leisure and learning. It was set up by employers in the sport and recreation, health and fitness, playwork, outdoors and caravan industries.

  • The sector has 576,000 employees, of whom more than three in five are in sport and recreation.
  • About 60,000 work in the caravan park industry.
  • The sector grew by 128,000 employees in the decade to 2004 and is forecast to continue this growth at about 2.1% a year, reaching 693,000 by 2014.
  • The sector’s workforce is supported by thousands of volunteers. There are 175,000 voluntary sports clubs involving 5,821,000 sports volunteers who give 1.2 billion hours a year to sport in England alone.

Tel: 020 7632 2000

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Apparel

Skillfast-UK represents 41,000 businesses employing 400,000 in the clothing, footwear and textile industries.

  • The sector contributes £10bn to the economy each year, 30% more than the motor industry.
  • Export sales represent about half of the sector’s total turnover, worth about £7bn last year.

Tel: 0870 120 6197

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Audiovisual

Skillset is the sector skills council for the audiovisual industries that comprise broadcast, film, video, interactive media and photo imaging.

Jointly funded by employers and the government, its job is to make sure that the UK audiovisual industries have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.

  • There are about 450,000 people working in the audiovisual industries.
  • Key areas include interactive media and television, each employing more than 50,000, and film, which employs more than 30,000.
  • The remainder is made up of wide-ranging fields including commercials, performers, photo-imaging and radio.

Audiovisual industries rely heavily on freelancers. In some cases, such as film production, virtually the whole workforce is employed on a freelance basis, while about half of those working in independent production for TV, commercial and corporate productions are freelance.

Tel: 020 7520 5757

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Social care

Skills for Care and Development is the sector skills council for social care and services for children and young people.

It covers:

  • Children’s homes
  • Care homes
  • Domiciliary care and support
  • Day centres
  • Social work
  • Fostering agencies and carers
  • Nurse agencies
  • Adoption services
  • Voluntary and youth services

Tel: 0113 241 1251

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Health

Skills for Health, the sector skills council for the health industry, is hosted by an NHS trust but is independent with its own board and management.

It covers the NHS, independent and voluntary employers and receives income from UK health departments, the Sector Skills Development Agency, the Education Act regulatory bodies and from the sector itself.

It provides no training but sees education and training providers as its partners.

There are more than 2.2 million people in the UK health sector. Recent analysis by Skills for Health has shown the following employment pattern:

  • NHS: 1,524,416
  • Independent: 472,124
  • Private and retail: 168,078
  • Voluntary sector: 56,300

Of the total 2.2 million, 42% are clinical practitioners and scientists, 37% clinical and technical support, 18% management and administration and 3% in estates and maintenance.

About 80% of the workforce is female and 40% is part time.

Tel: 0117 922 1155

E-mail: [email protected]

Sector: Law enforcement and judicial

Skills for Justice is the sector skills council for the justice sector, representing about 500,000 employees and volunteers in the UK.

Most staff are employed in the public sector, such as: court management and administration prosecution Revenue & Customs law enforcement prisons, policing and probation.

A growing number is in the private and voluntary sector (such as secure escorting and witness support). The workforce includes:

  • Courts services: 60,006
  • CPS: 10,223
  • Police: 275,231
  • Custodial care: 64,552
  • Probation: 22,480
  • Advice services: 51,349

Tel: 0114 261 1499

E-mail: [email protected]

Sector: Freight logistics

Skills for Logistics is the sector skills council for the freight logistics industry, covering moving, handling or storing of goods. It is the UK’s fifth largest industry and employs 1.7 million people in 65,000 firms.

The workforce is 80% male.

The industry is made up of:

  • Post 24%
  • Road transport 23%
  • Storage 18%
  • Air transport 13%
  • Couriers 9%
  • Cargo handling 1%
  • Other 12%

Tel: 01908 313360

E-mail: [email protected]


Sector: Retail

Skillsmart Retail is the sector skills council for the retail sector representing all businesses that sell products to the public.

  • Retail accounts for 5.7% of gross value added and last year sales of £247bn.
  • One-third of all consumer spending goes through retail stores.
  • There are 290,000 retail establishments in the UK, employing three million people.
  • There are few large retailers with more than 500 employees, but they employ 1.9 million people, accounting for 66% of the sector’s turnover.
  • About 21% of retail managers have a qualification at degree level or above, against 41% for the whole economy.
  • There are an estimated 150,000 sole traders operating in the UK.

Tel: 020 7399 3450

E-mail: [email protected]

Sector: Building services engineering

SummitSkills is the sector skills council for the building services engineering sector, covering electro-technical, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, refrigeration and plumbing.

  • Across the sector there are 51,000 businesses and 558,000 employees.
  • Of these 356,000 are in electro-technical, 95,000 in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, and 107,000 in plumbing.
  • More than 70% of all building services contractors work in companies with between one and three employees.
  • About 38,000 workers are self-employed.

The sector carries out £20bn in work each year (3% of GDP) and at any one time is training 18,000 apprentices.

Tel: 01908 303960

E-mail: [email protected]


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