South West Regional Skills Enterprise and Employment Analysis 2007/2008
Individuals engaged in the labour market do so either through becoming employees or through self-employment. Just over one-in-ten of individuals of working age are self- employed in the South West. This is broadly similar to the England rate. Many surveys have shown that those engaged in self-employment are less likely to train/develop than those who are employees. In many areas of the South West, self-employment forms a significant part of employment. In broad terms, self-employment is more prevalent in the south/west of the region (with the exception of Plymouth). In contrast the north/eastern part of the region has much lower rates of self-employment. Those who are self-employed are less likely to engage in training, presenting a challenge in terms of building the skills of this section of the workforce.
Figure 20: Self-employment as a proportion of the working-age population, South West, 2005 (click image to open in new window)
Analysis from the Analysis of Rural Businesses and the Rural Economy(100) also shows that self-employment in the region increases with rurality:
almost a fifth of workers in the most rural areas were self-employed (18% vs. 14%). This ranges from 16% in the A303 zone to 22% in the Northern Peninsula. Highest rates of self-employment were in the Northern Peninsula and M5 Corridor (rural 80 areas). The Western Peninsula was the functional zone with the highest self-employment rates (18%).
A better understanding of what is driving self-employment in rural areas is needed in order to deliver and address training needs. In terms of access to training, business support etc, the higher levels of self-employment in rural areas will need to be recognised.
(100) McCaig A, Analysis Of Rural Businesses And The
Rural Economy, 2006, SWRDA
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