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An overview of Plymouth's key sectors

Covid-19 has changed the way we live and work; the uncertainty it brings with it for us as individuals, and for our local businesses, is still relatively unknown. This will keep changing, so please check back regularly for the latest updates and opportunities. 


There are jobs available right now in our amazing city and there are predicted to be more jobs in the future, as our businesses recover and grow.  

Make an informed choice


On this page you’ll find the latest picture of Plymouth’s growing sectors of work. This should help guide you in your job hunting efforts or in choosing the best subjects for further study or re-training, so that you gain relevant qualifications and get the best possible start for your career.


You can find help to access all these local opportunities including finding jobs and apprenticeships, training and further study options through accessing our handy Resources Bank by clicking on either the Youth Hub or Adult Hub button at the end of this section

Health and Care, and Health Technologies 

Plymouth has a growing medical and health care industry that makes up nearly 17% of all employment in the city.


With one of largest teaching hospital trusts in the South West and a number of growing, highly innovative and creative businesses specialising in cutting edge health technology.  


Right now and in the future, these businesses will need consultants, nurses, healthcare assistants, midwives, pharmacists, radiographers, biomedical engineers, scientists, managers, medical secretaries, and admin staff.

Doctor Operating CT Scanner
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Marine and Defence

Did you know that Plymouth is known worldwide for its marine science and technology expertise? There are over 300 marine-related businesses operating in Plymouth accounting for over 10% employment in the city. The work ranges from world leading research, design and build, innovation and cutting-edge technology.

Plymouth is home to Devonport Dockyard, the largest naval base in Western Europe, which is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy accounting for over 11% of employment in the city.


These businesses will need software engineers, mechanical engineers, and electronic/electrical engineers and people with IT and robotic skills both now and in the future.  There are a high number of apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and graduate opportunities available across a number of different disciplines.

Construction and the Built Environment 

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to working in construction and the built environment sector that employs around 9% of Plymouth’s workforce. Offering over 170 different job roles, the city has key skills shortages of quantity surveyors, estimators, site managers, civil engineers, digital technologies as well as many trade skills being in high demand such as bricklaying. 


Plymouth has a massive construction programme ahead including redevelopment of Devonport Dockyard, new healthcare facilities at Derriford, along with building new homes. 

Laser Cutting
Manufacturing and Engineering

We are proud to be home to a number of impressive manufacturing names, including some globally recognised companies. Plymouth has the highest concentration of manufacturing employment on the south coast of Britain, providing just over 13% of Plymouth’s jobs and is a highly innovative sector. 

These businesses will need mechanical engineers, electric and electronic engineers, and robotic skills, along with apprentices, advanced apprentices and graduate opportunities.

Green jobs

Do not forget renewable energy, clean technologies and energy efficiencies will create thousands of jobs across the UK.


The UK has already pledged that a third of our energy will be produced using offshore wind farms by 2030, along with the 2050 net zero target.


Currently in Plymouth we have biomass and solar power plants, as well as the low emissions power station.


Our proximity to the coast and rolling landscape means that the opportunities for green jobs will continue to grow and require a new skilled work force.

Sustainable Energy

Tourism, Hospitality, Leisure and Retail

The tourism, hospitality, leisure and retail sector or ‘visitor economy’ in Plymouth has grown significantly over the past 10 years and now employs just under *8% of people in the city.


Plymouth is a major tourism destination in the South West attracting over 5.2 million* visitors annually who spend in excess of £334 million in the city.


The sector has a very wide range of careers available from traditional hospitality roles including chefs, waiting and front of house staff, baristas and food supply chain roles to taxi, drivers, tour guides, cruise and cabin crew, shop staff, managers and marketing roles in fact the opportunities are nearly endless.


Tourism and leisure is a great place to start your career providing opportunities to develop ‘people’ skills and where you can rapidly fast track into supervisory, management roles and careers for life.



*Statistics pre-Covid19

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What else is going on in Plymouth?

Along with the growing sectors mentioned above, Plymouth has a diverse range of industries including:

  • Digital

  • Arts

  • Entertainment and Recreation

  • Creative industries 

  • Fishing

  • Transport and distribution 

You can find out more about these sectors on Invest Plymouth's key sectors 

Adult/Youth Hub Employer
Launch your skills journey here!
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Youth Hub


If you are 16-24 years old, or a parent/ guardian.

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