Working in Staffordshire

Use this information to expand your knowledge of Staffordshire.


Information on Staffordshire

Main centres for employment:

  • Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Lichfield (offering an urban economy, focused on manufacturing and professional/ service jobs).
  • The surrounding countryside offers a strong base for agricultural and spin-off industries relating to food and drink.

The area is notably strong in manufacturing, with many global manufacturers based in Stoke, including: Siemens, GE Power, Pirelli, Michelin and Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems. They represent manufacturing activity ranging from R&D in power converter technologies to automotive component manufacturers. Stoke-on-Trent/Staffordshire is a cost effective location, with wage rates more competitive than the national average, representing a potential cost saving of up to 15%.

The most high-profile infrastructure project at the moment in the area is the UK government’s second high-speed rail route (HS2), intended to connect London to the Midlands, Manchester and Leeds. Stafford will be one of the hub stations and a £500m scheme has been proposed to build a hotel, office space and new homes on that site.

Future: As well as high end manufacturing, the ceramic skills base has attracted a growing number of specialised companies including Biocomposites and Mantec Technical Ceramics in addition to the industry’s traditional tableware products.

Sector strengths

The top employment sectors are:

Business, financial and professional services (79,000 employees)

Head offices of: JCB, Michelin UK, Bet365, and Vodafone's contact services are located here.

Manufacturing (55,000 people)

There are over 40 automotive companies in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, with a particular focus on engines and turbines, fluid power equipment, electrical wiring, tyres and construction machinery.

The area is home to global brands, including: Magna Automotive, Michelin, Johnson Controls and Pirelli.

(The JCB Academy is one of the UK’s first university technical colleges for manufacturing and engineering.)

Building on heritage

There are many companies that produce the traditional ceramic wares that Staffordshire and The Potteries are so famous for, that are still present in the region today. Technical ceramics is a growing area and advanced materials are being developed to support the automotive, construction, energy and healthcare industries with over 400 enterprises involved. For example: Lucideon, a leading materials technology research company.

In total, 7,000 people are employed in the ceramics sector and 26,300 are employed in advanced materials activities across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Jaguar Land Rover and several other manufacturing businesses are located at the i54 South Staffordshire technology-based business park, which opened in 2012. The Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone was launched in 2015 and has been attracting businesses to its six development sites spread across land near the A500 road. In planning is the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group (MICG).

Future: Ceramics Group tech campus, a development in North Staffordshire supported by JCB, Rolls-Royce and Lucideon, which promises to create 4,000 jobs by 2030.

Transport and storage (39,000 people)

Employment hotspots for freight transport by road, warehousing and storage:

  1. Stoke-on-Trent
  2. Cannock Chase
  3. Newcastle-under-Lyme

Employment in the sector is more than twice the English average (5%) in Cannock (12.5%) and Newcastle-under-Lyme (10%).

Major distribution operations here include:

  • Alliance Boots
  • Amazon
  • APC Overnight
  • Argos
  • Asda George
  • FedEx
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Pets at Home
  • Sainsbury’s

Upcoming industries


Staffordshire is at the forefront of Agriculture growth, as 75% of the UK can be reached within two hours travel time. The largest concentration of food processors are here (including Princes, Mondelez and Müller).

Population growth has meant that we have had to find new ways of agricultural production. This has been done (and will be done increasingly in the future) by Agri-tech.

For example: food production is developing rapidly – involving more data analysis and information systems, software development, new sensor technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, battery technologies, sustainable food packaging materials and many other innovations. The region is home to world-class Centres of Excellence and universities with a proven track-record of collaborating with the region’s businesses to keep them at the cutting edge of innovations and latest developments in the Agri-food sector.

Agri-Tech West (ATW) is the alliance formed within three Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership areas: Shropshire, Herefordshire, Telford & Wrekin, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.

Misconception: Agri-tech is not just limited to crop farming. Keele University in Staffordshire have partnered with Harper Adams University and confirmed plans to establish a joint veterinary school. The veterinary school builds on the research specialisms in agriculture and animal sciences at Harper Adams University, complemented by Keele University’s established track-record in the fields of life sciences and medicine.

How to use this information

Make a speculative application

Sometimes jobs or work experience are created by initially approaching an individual at an organisation: face to face, by phone or by email. More information on making effective speculative applications can be found on the Prospects website and on Careers Network’s speculative application preparation online pages.

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