• Brown, Christopher (PI)

Project: Research

Project Details


The evidence presented in this report is drawn from a Hertfordshire Employer Skills Needs Survey (HESNS). Conducted in February 2018, over 200 employers took part in four specific sectors (Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals, Construction and the Built Environment and Film & Media), drawing on these employer’s understanding of their skills gaps and the impact of these on their businesses’ performance. Two previous studies have also been used to support this section’s understanding and interpretation of Hertfordshire employers’ skills needs, both currently and in the future. For the purposes of this market assessment we are focusing on just two of the above sectors, Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals, and Construction and the Built Environment.

Layman's description

Hertfordshire employers are continuing to exhibit steady growth, especially in the two sectors of Construction and the Built Environment and Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals.
More than 50% of Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals, and Construction and the Built Environment businesses reported turnover growth of 5% or more over the last year. UK Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical sector is one of the strongest and most productive life science industries in the world, generating over £56 billion per annum [3]. This increase in turnover was equally reflected in these businesses increasing staff levels, with 75% of Life Science and Pharmaceutical and 62% of Construction and Built Environment businesses reporting recruitment of new staff, see table 1 below. These Hertfordshire employers were asked specifically where this increased turnover would arise from, Construction and the Built Environment business suggested that nearly 50% of this growth more come from exploiting new markets and expanding their staffing level to address these new opportunities. Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical businesses were 79% confident that growth would emerge from their new market and new product developments, combined with recruiting further highly skilled staff, see table 2 below.

Key findings

Hertfordshire’s strength lies in both its key sectors (Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical, and Construction and the Built Environment) and its Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. From both the Hertfordshire business surveys and national surveys, medium-sized businesses are often cited as being the most resilient to economic storm and uncertainty [9]. It is for this reason that Hertfordshire is particularly fortunate in having strength in both the SME sector and significant large businesses in both key sectors.
Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical, and Construction and Built Environment sectors both acknowledge the importance of research, development, manufacturing and the commercialisation of products to longer-term economic growth and fuller employment. Any weaknesses in the local skills base will, if left unchecked, contribute to a long-standing productivity gap. Clearly, the UK government has issued its concern over the linkage between weaknesses in the UK skills base and the shortfalls evident in the growing productivity gap with other peer nations[10].
Short titleIOT Demand Analysis
Effective start/end date1/02/183/04/18


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