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The marine sector has a strong heritage in the United Kingdom. To this day many major global companies such as BAE Systems and Babcock utilise the UK to build ships.

The highly-skilled nature of the sector workforce means that, in comparison to other sectors, it is likely to shrink less than other engineering sub-sectors over a 5 year period. The same is true of its susceptibility to automation due to fewer relatively lower-skill roles. Compared to other sectors it is rather unique in that 92% of its employers are classed as micro-sized, less than 1% are classed as large employers.

Whilst the North East was historically once a shipbuilding hub for the world it now accounts for 1% of the sector’s total employment. With little prospect of a regional sector revival, shipyards such as the Swan Hunter have had to cease trading. This is an example of the 1980’s decline in UK shipbuilding.

However, while the North East has faced decline, other sector regions have been able to maintain a strong foothold. Areas of note include the South West, North West and East Midlands.

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