A Great Workforce

a great workforce

Sunderland's skilled workforce is what makes our city great. Sunderland is home to over 277,700 city residents - 173,600 of whom are working age.

Thanks to our history in shipbuilding and mining, coupled with our strides towards becoming a well-connected smart city, we have built and earned a reputation as a region of hard-workers. Our talented workforce holds expertise and knowledge across a broad range of key sectors, with numbers that grow each year, and recognition across the globe. 

Great Skills

Over 15% of Sunderland's population are fully qualified professionals, with experience in manufacturing, engineering, finance, retail, hospitality, communications, tech, digital, creative sectors and more. Sunderland is also home to training and education centres that allow our workforce to further hone their skills, and be the best they can be. 

  • 19% of the workforce has skills relevant to advanced manufacturing
  • 22% of the workforce has skills relevant to contact centres and 'back office' operations 
  • 2,800 people in the city work in the digital tech sector

Great Talent

Our industries and career opportunities ensure that Sunderland attracts talent from across the UK and beyond, with 2.67 million people also living within a 60-minute commute. 

Our local economy is also fed by five local universities, and additional education centres, giving businesses in the region access to fresh talent each year from our flourishing student community.  

  • One million people of working age live within a 15 mile radius (500,000 within a 7½ mile radius)

Great Work-Life Balance

Sunderland is blessed with miles of coastline and green space which make it a prime location for employees and talent to live or relocate. Investment in the region has seen regeneration and development for housing, as well as business, attracting professionals of all backgrounds to Sunderland. With excellent transport links, fantastic amenities and access to the beauty of the North East, our workforce is a happy and healthy community, with many choosing to work in Sunderland year after year. 

  • The low cost of living helps to keep wage rates at a competitive level, with average earnings being just 89.5% of the national average [these are workplace-based media rates; as regards cost-of-living, a semi-detached house in Sunderland is just 61% of the national average]
  • the city's contact centres enjoy the lowest staff turnover rates in the country

Great Opportunities

Together with further funding and investment, Sunderland is poised to generate further opportunities and attract a greater workforce to support this. From volunteers to graduates, experienced staff and rising stars, our collective workforce is a valuable asset to any business, and our economy. 

Speak to our Business Investment Team today to find out what makes Sunderland's workforce one of the most valuable in the UK.