Our productivity levels have grown faster than the national average, due in no small part to the loyal, flexible and skilled workforce. In a recent survey, 89% of our businesses felt all their staff had the skills necessary to be fully proficient at their job, and 90% had had no problems retaining their staff.
Our county benefits from three leading Higher Education Institutions: The Universities of Exeter (Times University of the Year 2012/13) and Plymouth (winner of the 2011 Queen’s Anniversary Award for Further and Higher Education) as well as University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth, which combined have over 46,000 students.
The strength of the county’s higher education resource means that our research and development capability has risen well above that of other parts of the UK – a large proportion of our academic research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
Apprenticeships continue to grow in popularity in our county, and in 2011-12 there was a 6.2% increase from the previous year in the number of 16-18 year olds opting for these schemes – in stark contrast to the 1.4% decline nationally. Our success rates in apprenticeships at all levels are also higher than the UK average, demonstrating the aptitude and the willingness of our workforce for learning .