Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership South East Wales

More information on working and living in South East Wales


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Spotlight on

South East Wales

What's on the horizon for careers in South East Wales?

The South East Wales area includes: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire,
Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, and Vale of Glamorgan.

What are my options for a job
in South East Wales?
What jobs have the most vacancies?

What industries are growing?
Who are the big and key employers in
South East Wales?

South East Wales has around half of the Welsh population, and employs nearly half the workforce in Wales. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017) In South East Wales, employment growth is in construction, health and social work, finance and insurance, professional and support services and ICT. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Digital skills are in increasing demand within all sectors in South East Wales. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Get more information on what is happening with jobs and industries in South East Wales now, and what is predicted to happen in the future...


Employment in
South East Wales is predicted to increase by 29,300 between 2014 and 2024 from 671,000 to 701,000.
(Welsh Government,

Key UK government offices such as Companies House (Cardiff), IPO, and ONS (Newport) employ over 2000 people.
(South Wales Financial Centre of Excellence UKTI, 2015)

Over 1,000
new growth jobs in the ICT sector are forecast by 2024 for South East Wales.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (this covers the whole South East Wales area) is expected to provide up to 25,000 new jobs in South East Wales.
(UK Government,

Wales Metro transport system will create demand for high level construction, engineering, manufacturing, building and maintenance skills.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Just over1.5 million people live in South East Wales, nearly1/2 of the population of Wales.

Almost1/2 of the workforce in Wales work in South East Wales. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

 Growing industries in South East Wales

3 sectors that are predicted to have the greatest number of job openings between 2014 and 2024 are:

Wholesale and Retail


Health and Social Work




(Welsh Government, 2017)


Smaller sectors sometimes have a greater % growth in employment. 10 sectors in South East Wales are likely to have the greatest percentage growth by 2024:

(Rounded %)

Real Estate
Wholesale and Retail
Information and
and Gas
Finance and
Water and
and Food

(Welsh Government, 2017)


35of the50 fastest growing companies in Wales for2017are in South East Wales 
(Fastgrowth50, 2017)


Temporary Employment Agency Work is also forecast to be a fast growing industry by 2024. It is predicted to grow by 12% by 2024.

(EMSI, 2018)


Top 15 occupations advertised online in South East Wales in the last 12 months:

Around 4,550 postings were advertised online for Programmers and Software Development Professionals in South East Wales within the last 12 months. It was the most common occupation online to be advertised. Take a look at the other top occupations posted online in the last 12 months:


Numbers of online vacancies (rounded figures)

Programmers and Software Development Professionals




Other Administrative Occupations


Business Sales Executives


Human Resources and Industrial Relations Officers


Web Design and Development Professionals


Book-keepers, Payroll Managers and Wages Clerks


IT Business Analysts, Architects
and Systems Designers


Managers and Proprietors in other services


IT User Support Technicians


Customer Service Occupations


Managers and Directors in Retail and Wholesale


Chartered and Certified Accountants


Care Workers


Teaching Assistants


(Labour Insights, 2017)

There are 2,210 ICT employers in South East Wales. It is forecast that there will be 1000 new growth jobs in the information technology sector by 2024. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)


New developments; new jobs in South East Wales


Developments in technology will impact jobs and skills needed in the future. 

New technology such as artificial intelligence, drones, driverless vehicles, 3D printing, robotics and automation will change the future of work and skills. There will be a need for increased ICT skills across all sectors.

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

The development of a South Wales Metro may need up to 1000 staff within the rail sector to replace an aging workforce.

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

The building of the South Wales M4 relief road will lead to increased demand for skills in construction and engineering.

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

The Aston Martin project in St Athan is likely to create 100s of manufacturing jobs. 

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

South East Wales has 3 of the 8 enterprise zones across Wales

Areas the Welsh Government have created the conditions to help businesses grow:

  • Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone – Manufacturing
  • Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone – Financial and Professional Services, ICT and Creative Industries
  • Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone – Aerospace, Automotive, Defence, Engineering and Manufacturing.

(Business Wales, 2017)


Meet the employers

The NHS (National Health Service) is the top recruiting employer in Wales. (Labour Insights, 2017)

These are some of the key employers in South East Wales:

Yuasa Battery Europe Ltd,  
Blaenau Gwent 

Merthyr Tydfil 

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water,


Dow Corning Ltd,   

Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd,  Monmouthshire 

Zodiac Seats UK Ltd,   

Celtic Manor Resort,

GE Aircraft Engine Services Ltd, Caerphilly

Admiral Group Plc, Cardiff

Nearly 1 in of the people working in South East Wales commute to work outside of their home authority.
(StatsWales, 2016)
Is commuting something to think about to get the job you want?
Among the
top recruiting employers
in South East Wales in the last 12 months are Councils and Universities. (Labour Insights, 2017). Why not take a look at your local council or university website to see
the range of jobs

What can I earn?

What could I get
paid in South East Wales?

If you are thinking about a new career or getting a job, think about how important wage is to you. The earning potential of a job for the future could be important to you, as you decide on a career.

Job Salary range dependent on experience (£)

£10,000 - £25,000

£12,500 - £20,000

£14,000 - £28,000

£15,000 - £22,000

£15,000 - £20,000

£15,000 - £30,000

£18,000 - £32,000

£18,000 - £45,000

£19,000 - £46,000

£20,000 - £45,000

£21,000 - £45,000

£22,000 - £28,500

£22,000 - £75,000

£24,000 - £46,000

£25,000 - £45,000

£24,500 - £48,000

£30,000 - £60,000

£54,000 - £82,000

(CASCAID, 2017)

Learning and training in South East Wales

Further Education

6 of the 13 colleges in Wales are in the South East Wales area.




Search for a course

Apprenticeships and Jobs Growth Wales

47% of all apprenticeships in Wales are predicted to be in South East Wales.

Higher Level Apprenticeships have doubled since 2012/2013 to 4,000.

Demand for Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeship opportunities is likely to increase. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Apprenticeships are a great way to gain qualifications and earn a wage.  Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships allow you to earn a wage and gain a degree or higher level qualification at the same time.



Job Area
% of all Jobs Growth Wales Jobs (rounded)

Administration, Business and Office Work 14%

Marketing and Advertising6%


Personal and Other Services5%

Social Work and Counselling Services4.5%

(Careers Wales, 2017)


Job Area
% advertised in last 12 months (rounded)

Business Administration and Office Work16%

Social Work and Counselling Services9%


Retail Sales and Customer Services4.5%

(Careers Wales, 2017)

Find out more about Apprenticeships  Find out more about Jobs Growth Wales   

Search for Aprenticeships and Jobs Growth Wales jobs  Search for Employers who offer Apprenticeships 

Higher Education

It is estimated that 54% of all jobs will be at Level 4 or above by 2024.

85% of the students graduating from universities in South East Wales stayed in Wales to work.

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

Universities in South East Wales

In 2016/17 the total number of students in the 4 universities within South East Wales was 75,640. This is just over 55% of the total number of university students in Wales.  
(StatsWales, 2016/17)

Cardiff University
Cardiff University is ranked 5th in the UK for research excellence, and is among the top 125 universities in the world in latest QS world rankings (Visit Wales, 2015). 94.1% of graduates enter employment, further study or both shortly after graduating. With 30,676 students, Cardiff University is the 8th largest university in the UK. (Cardiff University, 2017)

Cardiff Metropolitan University
96% of graduates enter employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2015). Cardiff Metropolitan University has around 11,000 students and has been ranked top for international student support for 6 years in a row by International Student Barometer. (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2016)

University of South Wales
University of South Wales is one of the largest universities in the UK with over 33,500 students. 95% of students enter employment or further study within 6 months of graduating (University of South Wales, 2017). Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, part of USW, is one of the UK’s leading drama schools (Visit Wales, 2015).

Open University in Wales
Over 7,000 students in Wales are studying with the Open University.  More than 70% of students are in employment while they study with the Open University.  More than 4 in 10 students that start studying with the Open University do not have the usual higher education entry level qualifications. (Open University in Wales, 2017)

Find a HE course

Higher Education Programmes in South East Wales

National Cyber Security Academy– the Newport City campus is the location of the National Cyber Security Academy, a University of South Wales and Welsh Government initiative to develop cyber security skills in Wales.

National Software Academy– is an initiative by Cardiff University and the Welsh Government to respond to the shortage of skilled programmers and software engineering graduates. It is based at The Platform in Newport and delivers a degree that gives the graduate the experience to work as a software engineer.

Network75 – is a programme that allows students to combine work and study. Students work in a company 3 days a week and study at university 2 days a week. There is opportunity for a wide range of degrees to be studied under Network75.

Welsh Financial Services Graduate Program – combines a full time programme of work, training and study. Employers in South East Wales include Admiral, Principality Building Society and Grant Thornton.

How can I learn
while I earn?

Skills in demand

Employers in South East Wales are looking for specialist technical skills that are specific to the job.  So look into the skills and qualifications required by the job you are interested in.

Skills you need:

Top 3 technical and practical skills employers find lacking within job applicants in South East Wales:

Specialist skills required for the job


Knowledge of how the organisation works


Solving complex problems



Top 3 people and personal skills employers find lacking within job applicants in South East Wales:


Ability to manage own time and prioritise own tasks


Customer handling skills


Team working


(Welsh Government, 2017)

Skills Needs in the future of some South East Wales Industries

5 key sectors in South East Wales are likely to have the greatest demand for skills and work in the next 5 years (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017):



There are over 2,200 ICT employers in South East Wales. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)


The ICT sector in South East Wales employs nearly 60% of the ICT workforce in Wales. (Welsh Government, 2017)


The top job title for ICT jobs in South East Wales within the last 12 months is for Software Development Engineer. (Labour Insights, 2017)


64% of the people employed in ICT have a degree. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)


In South East Wales over the past 5 years, there has been a 64% increase in demand for IT specialists. (Learning, Skills Innovation Partnership, 2017)


The top 5 skills required from ICT jobs advertised online in South East Wales in the last 12 months were for SQL, JavaScript, Microsoft C#, .NET Programming and JAVA (Labour Insights, 2017).

See Spotlight on ICT


Over 50% of Welsh Advanced Materials and Manufacturing companies are in South East Wales. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017).  They include:

Aerospace and Defence

Automotive Engineering

Compound Semi-conductor

Food and Drink Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

The compound semiconductors foundry in Newport is forecast to create 2,000 jobs.  Skills in demand are likely to be in:

  • Manufacturing and Applications
  • Wireless
  • Smart Phones
  • Power Stations
  • Imaging Devices
  • Automotive Technology
  • Driverless Cars

Pharmaceutical and food manufacturing skills in demand are for Quality Assurance, Level 3 and above Laboratory skills, Live Cell Research and Gene Technology and Food Technologists. 

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

See Spotlight on Advanced Materials and Manufacturing


66,000 people work in Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Professional Services.  Over 110,000 people work in support services, public administration, defence and other services.

Higher level skills in demand for Financial and Professional Services include:

  • Customer Services
  • Project Management
  • Governance
  • Risk Analysis
  • Compliance
  • Strategic Planning

Artificial Intelligence and automation is likely to impact Financial and Professional Services.  It may reduce the workforce for call centre, insurance claims and renewals.

There is likely to be an increased need for ICT and digital skills within Financial and Professional Services including cyber security, social meda analytics, software engineering and general personal security and ICT skills. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

See Spotlight on Financial and Professional Services


South East Wales has over 5,000 enterprises in the construction sector so there is likely to be a demand for jobs, due to people retiring or leaving work, of 15,300 by 2024. (Learning Skills Innovation Partnership South East Wales, 2017)

In the next 5 years the highest growth is likely to be for professional jobs within construction including Quantity Surveyors and Chartered Surveyors. (Working Futures, 2014-2024).

Housing repair and maintenance is a big group within construction.  6 significant skills gaps and shortages within construction are for:

  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Bricklayers
  • Painters and Decorators
  • Labourers
  • Electrical Installation
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

See Spotlight on Construction.

HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE AND EDUCATION (Known as the Human Foundational Economy)

Around 150,000 people work in Health, Social Care or Education within South East Wales.  100,000 people work in Health and Social Services, and 50,000 in Education.

74,000 people are employed by the NHS.  There is a need for staff to have ICT / digital competency due to increased information sharing between services.  There is also a demand for high level ICT skills including:

  • Programming and Software Engineering
  • Data Analytics
  • Cyber Security

There is an increased need for those employed in social care to have the Level 2/3 qualifications.  Social Care services are also likely to have a skills demand for using electronic assistive technology.

In Education, there is a shortage of teachers trained in:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Maths

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2017)

See Spotlight on Health Careers


Do I need Welsh Language Skills?

If you work in Wales, being able to speak and write in both Welsh and English can give you an advantage in the workplace.

 of people in South East Wales are able to speak Welsh.
(StatsWales, 2011 Census)
24% of employers in South East Wales think that having more staff that can communicate in Welsh will be of benefit to their company. (Welsh Language Skills in 8 Sectors, 2014)*

of companies in South East Wales use Welsh in the workplace.
(Welsh Language Skills in 8 Sectors, 2014)*
8% of vacancies posted by employers in South East Wales considered Welsh language desirable.
(Welsh Language Skills in 8 Sectors, 2014)*

*(The 8 sectors surveyed are Childcare, Social Care, Creative Industries, Hospitality, Retail, Construction and Agriculture and Food Industries, Welsh Language Skills in 8 Sectors, 2014)

What about the Future?

Employment in South East Wales is predicted to increase by 4.4% between 2014 and 2024. (Welsh Government, 2017).

These jobs are likely to be in demand up to 2024:

Which jobs will
be in demand?

New recruits needed by 2024 (rounded figures)
Care Workers and
Home Carers

Sales and Retail

Kitchen and Catering

Waiters and Waitresses


Administrative Staff 

Call and Contact
Centre Staff

Primary and Nursery


Van Drivers

Customer Service

Retail and Wholesale

Pensions and
Insurance Clerks

Security Guards

Nursing Healthcare
Support Workers

Teaching Assistants

(EMSI, 2018)

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