Key sectors:

Enabling Sectors

High employment, with significant entry level jobs and services and vital to our economy.

Enabling sectors in our region:

Health and social care

A high number of people are employed in health and social care. The sector has 41,000 jobs with 23,500 of these in human health and a further 10,500 in residential care.

In the Marches, as well as across the UK, this sector is expected to experience an increase in demand with an increasing gap in provision for the elderly as the population ages.


There are 33,700 retail jobs across the Marches, amounting to over 12% of total jobs.

In the context of the changing retail environment and the need for town centres to respond to changing markets, there are three town centre Business Improvement Districts in the Marches, which aim to work with partners to deliver investment and improvement to the town centres of Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Hereford.


The education sector is a large employer with 24,500 jobs.

The quality of education offered by the Marches, including its schools in the independent sector, is a key asset to support inward investment and the location of people and businesses.


There are 18,500 jobs in construction in the Marches and around 3,150 construction businesses. Of these jobs, 6,500 are in specialised construction activities, including electrical installation, plumbing, joining, roofing, painting, scaffolding and plastering.

The construction sector is central to our investment in new infrastructure, commercial space and housing.

A Marches-based partnership has recently secured funding under the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Construction Skills Fund to encourage more people to enter the sector.


Our logistics sector employs almost 8,000 people and is closely related to our supply chains in advanced manufacturing, agriculture and food and drink.

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE)

There are more than 4,000 registered VCSE organisations with a further 2,418 small informal groups in the Marches. The sector employs 6,760 people and has a large voluntary workforce, contributing over £6m to the local economy.

The VCSE sector in the Marches provides a broad range of functions including helping unemployed and economically inactive people access employment, training carers, providing relief to health and social care services, supporting skills and reducing absenteeism, and finding innovative ways to overcome transport restrictions.

Visitor Economy

The Marches has a diverse visitor economy offer, comprising our beautiful natural landscape, including three AONBs, high quality locally produced food, a World Heritage Site and historic market towns.

The visitor economy plays an important role and our natural, cultural and heritage assets are essential to attracting people to live and work in the Marches. it is also a large employer with almost 4,250 jobs in accommodation, supporting thousands more in related sectors such as restaurants, museums, transport, and visitor and leisure attractions. To support the sector The Marches LEP has recently supported the development of a visitor economy strategy.

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