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What is it?

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The manufacturing job sector covers a huge range of employment - with hundreds of different job roles involved. Manufacturing is about producing all the things we use and may need for example food and drink, doors and windows, clothing and footwear, books and magazines, pharmaceutical products, fuel and oils and furniture.

Manufacturing throughout the UK is a large employer with hundreds of different manufacturers and producers - although many areas may specialise in particular areas of manufacturing. There are 20 main sub-sectors within manufacturing many of which are quite small - some of the largest ones in the UK are the manufacture of:

  • Chemicals
  • Food and Drink
  • Furniture
  • Glass and glazing
  • Machinery
  • Metal products
  • Paper
  • Printing
  • Rubber and Plastics
  • Textiles
  • Clothes (wearing apparel)

This factsheet has information about the whole manufacturing sector including:

Plus we've put together some links to specialist sites you can explore if you'd like to find out more.

Some of the other main areas such as machinery manufacture, automotive and aeronautical, chemical, electrical and electronic and medical equipment are included in the engineering sector as these are areas with a strong element of design and engineering as well as manufacture.

The manufacturing sector also employs professional engineers, designers, and scientists, and details of these jobs are included in the engineering and the science job families.


Want to know more?...

To give you a snapshot of this large job sector  we have outlined some of the jobs on offer including informaiton about the main entry routes, the job market and future trends - we have not included all the jobs on offer in each sector.

You can also use the National Careers Service website to find out about 100s of jobs and careers, including the ones listed above and many, many more.

The following documents are attached to this page, please click on an icon or the title to download (this will open a new window)
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Job Sector Factsheet, updated December 2011