2,000 public sector jobs facing the axe

Thousands of public sector jobs will be lost in Shrewsbury and Oswestry in the next five years, a report has warned.

Oswestry aerial

Thousands of public sector jobs will be lost in Shrewsbury and Oswestry in the next five years, a report has warned.

More than 1,500 jobs are expected to be lost in Shrewsbury by 2016, and 500 in Oswestry. The figures are contained in a Shropshire Council commissioning priorities report and referred to statistics found in a recent West Midlands Skills Assessment paper, which assessed the local impact of public sector job cuts.

The commissioning priorities report, which outlined the council’s post-16 education priorities for 2011/12, said that a large proportion of workers in Shrewsbury and Oswestry are employed in public sector positions.

“The impact in the north of the county, particularly around Oswestry, is one area that might suffer more than the rest of the county due to the reliance on public sector jobs,” it said.

“In Shrewsbury, 17,500 public sector jobs accounted for some 35 per cent of employment in 2008. 10,100 jobs (21 per cent) were in health and social care and a further 3,700 (eight per cent) were in other public sector services. “More than 1,500 public sector jobs are forecast to be shed by 2016.

“Although the reduction in public sector jobs forecast of 500 for Oswestry is more modest, the area has seen the most significant increase in dependence on public sector jobs in the West Midlands at 11 per cent points between 1998 and 2008. Some 2,400 jobs (16 per cent of all employment) were in health and social care and a further 1,800 jobs (12 per cent) in education.

“As a consequence there is expected to be a decline of nearly three per cent in total workplace jobs by 2016.”

The report also noted that there is likely to be a shift in what industries people are employed in across Shropshire in the next few years.

“Projections indicate that there will be a decline in employment within the primary sectors, including agriculture, engineering and other manufacturing and construction.

Despite recent events, it is still expected that this will be offset by employment growth in business services, distribution , education, health and social care,” it said.