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, Rhonda 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, workforce and businesses (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016). Construction, IT and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing are key industries in the area. Over half of all Finance and Professional Services jobs and over half of all Creative Industry jobs in Wales are located in South East Wales. In South East Wales technical skills specific to the job are in demand.

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...

Cardiff has a higher density of Financial and Professional Service jobs than the UK average outside of London.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016)

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 £2.75 billion of housing projects have been identified for Bridgend, Caerphilly and Cardiff which will require skilled trades.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016)

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, 2016)

South East Wales
has an increasing level of job vacancies rising by 5% in 2013 to 19% in 2015.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016)

Torfaen and Cardiff are predicted to have the highest level of growth in the next 5 years.
(EMSI, 2016)

 The total population of Wales is3,099,100 (NOMIS, 2015)
South East Wales has nearly half of the Welsh Population who work in around665,300 jobs and90,000 businesses. 

  (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015)

Largest industries in South East Wales

Numbers of people employed (rounded figures)










Business Administration and Support Services


Public Administration and Defence


Accommodation and Food Services


Professional Scientific and Technical




Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and other services


Transport and Storage (including postal)


Financial and Insurance



Where are most
of the jobs in
South East Wales?

Health, Care, Social Services, Education, Public Administration, Emergency Services, Retail, Transport, and Logistics together make up around 50% of the total workforce in South East Wales.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016) Manufacturing is the largest industry in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, and Torfaen.
 (NOMIS BRES, 2014)


Growing industries in South East Wales

Some of the fastest growing industries between 2013 and 2016 were:

(EMSI, 2016)

 28 of the50 fastest growing companies in Wales for2016are in South East Wales 
(Fastgrowth50, 2016)


Temporary Employment Agency work in South East Wales has risen to over 14,500 jobs between 2013 and 2016.This is an increase of 3,000 temporary jobs since 2013. Temporary Employment Agency work has been the 2nd fastest growing industry between 2013 and 2016.
(EMSI, 2016)


Top 12 jobs advertised in South East Wales within the last 12 months:

Around 5,300 jobs were advertised online for Programmers and Software Development Professionals in South East Wales within the last 12 months. It was the most common job online to be advertised. Take a look at the other top jobs posted online in the last 12 months:


Numbers of people employed (rounded figures)

Programmers and Software Development Professionals




Other Administrative Occupations


Business Sales Executives


Web Design and Development Professionals


IT Business Analysts, Architects and Systems Designers


Managers and Proprietors in other services


Sales related occupations


Care Workers


IT User Support Technicians


Teaching Assistants


Sales Accounts and Business Development Managers


(Labour Insights, 2016)

Care Workers and Home Care Workers are likely to be the fastest growing occupation over the next 5 years for Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan. (EMSI, 2016)


New developments; new jobs in South East Wales

The development of a South East Wales Metro will improve transport in the area and provide jobs in its construction and running.
(UK Government, 2016)

2.75 billion of housing projects are likely for Bridgend, Cardiff and Caerphilly so there may be skills shortages.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015)

10 top construction projects in South East Wales are underway with four more planned, including 7,000 homes in Bridgend, and a relief road in Caerphilly.
(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015)

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 – Advanced Materials and Manufacturing including Automotive, Pharmaceutical and Food manufacturing
  • Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone – Financial and Professional Services
  • Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone – Aeronautical industry

(Business Wales, 2016)


Meet the employers

The NHS (National Health Service) is the top recruiting employer in Wales. (Labour Insights, 2016)

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

Around 115,000
people commute daily into Cardiff and Newport

(Learning Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015) Is commuting something to think about to get the job you want?

In Bridgend, CGI, G4S and Bridgend County Borough Council were among the top 5 recruiting employers.
(Labour Insights, 2016)

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

£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, 2016)

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


Job Area
% of all Jobs Growth Wales Jobs

Administration, Business and Office Work 14%


Marketing and Advertising7%


Retail Sales and Customer Services4%


Catering and Hospitality3%


Computers and IT3%


(Careers Wales, 2016)


Job Area
% advertised in last 12 months



Business Administration and Office Work10%


Retail Sales and Customer Services6%


Social Work and Counselling Services4%




(Careers Wales, 2016)

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

Search for Aprenticeships and Jobs Growth Wales jobs  


Higher Education

2/3 of the 30,000 students graduating from the University of South Wales in 2015 remained in South East Wales.
(Learning and Skills Innovation
Partnership South East Wales, 2015)

Universities in South East Wales

In 2014/15 the total number of students in the 4 universities within South East Wales was 79,145 around 60% of the total number of university students in Wales.  
(Learning and Skills Innovation
Partnership South East Wales, 2015)


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 30,180 students, Cardiff University is the 8th largest university in the UK 2013/2014 (Cardiff University, 2016)

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 Metroplolitan University, 2016)

University of South Wales
University of South Wales, has more than 33,500 students. Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, part of USW, is one of the UK’s leading drama schools (Visit Wales, 2015). 94% of students enter employment or further study within 6 months of graduating (University of South Wales, 2016).

Open University in Wales
Open University in Wales has 200,000 students studying directly or through partners, 20,000 of those live outside UK. (Visit Wales, 2015)

Subjects most studied in South East Wales Higher Education institutions


Business and Administration Studies   13,310 students

Biological Sciences  
9,370 students

Subjects allied to medicine  
8,270 students

(Learning and Skills Innovation Partnership South East Wales, 2015)

Find a HE course

Higher Education Programmes in South East Wales

National Cyber Security Academy– the Newport City campus will be 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 a new 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

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.

Employers are also looking for IT skills, team working, customer service, and the ability to prioritise your own work and manage your own time well. Is this you?

Skills you need:

Skills employers find lacking within South East Wales (Learning, Skills and innovation Partnership, 2015)

Specialist skills required for the job


Self management and prioritising work


Team working and customer handling


Basic and/or advanced IT skills



Skills Needs in the future of some South East Wales Industries


The number of people employed as technical specialists is forecast to increase in Wales by 25%.
(Tech Partnership Employment Bulletin, 2015)

The ICT sector in South East Wales employs 60% of the ICT workforce in Wales. (Learning, Skills Innovation Partnership, 2015)

The top job title for ICT jobs in South East Wales within the last 12 months is for Software Development Engineer. (Labour Insights, 2016)

The top 3 skills required from ICT jobs in South East Wales in the last 12 months were for, SQL, Microsoft C# and JavaScript. (Labour Insights, 2016)

See Spotlight on ICT


The advanced materials and manufacturing industry is likely to have significant numbers of vacancies in the next 4 years.

Aerospace: 8,000 – highly skilled managers, professionals and technicians.

Electronics: 1,500 - designers, research, bespoke manufacturing, circuit design, control systems.

Automotive: 20,000 - associate professionals/technicians to address emerging technologies and innovation, new product design and quality skills.

Food manufacturing: : 4,000 -Sales, business, environmental and food technology.

Manufacturing in South East Wales is in decline but will have employment opportunities because of an aging workforce.

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015)

See Spotlight on Advanced Materials and Manufacturing


Skills needs in demand for financial and legal work include:

  • Communication skills
  • Team working
  • Networking
  • Report Writing
  • Presentation skills

Specialist skills shortages include:

  • Compliance and risk analysis
  • Pricing and financial analysis
  • Underwriting skills
  • Regulatory skills

(Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016)

See Spotlight on Financial and Professional Services


South East Wales has over 5,200 enterprises in the construction sector so there is likely to be a demand for jobs, due to people retiring or leaving work, of 20,000 in next 5-7 years as projects arise. (Learning Skills Innovation Partnership South East Wales, 2015)

Housing repair and maintenance is the biggest group within construction. Skills Gaps and skills shortages within construction are for skilled trades. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2016)

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)

See Spotlight on Construction.

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.

27% of people in South East Wales say they can speak Welsh.
(StatsWales, 2015)
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)*
15% 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?

South East Wales has an aging population. This means that jobs become available when people retire. As the population ages more people will be using health and social services which will mean a likely increase in jobs in both health and social care. (Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership, 2015).

These jobs are likely to be in demand over the next 5 years:

Which jobs will
be in demand?

New recruits needed each year (rounded figures)


Care Workers

Sales Assistants

Kitchen staff


Waiters and Waitresses

Adminstration staff

Nursing Auxiliaries

Bar Staff


Electricians and Electrical

Property, Housing and
Estate Managers


Hairdressers and Barbers

Finance and Investments

Customer Service Staff

Book Keepers, Payroll
and Wages Clerks

Financial Managers and


(EMSI, 2016)

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