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Articles, tips, blogs and guides around the topics of business skills, training, professional courses and development in addition to Southwest relevant news. Mainly by Bob the Blogging Badger. Sometimes a human.

Quirky Facts about the South West, UK!

To make sure we get our business offering right, it’s essential that we truly understand our South West neighbours and their potential training needs. One of the best ways to map training needs is to ensure that we stay on top of reports released from entities such as the Office for National Statistics or UK Trade and Investment.

We came across some fantastically quirky facts when reading ‘Portrait of the South West’ and thought we'd share them with you!

•    Did you know over five million inhabitants reside in South West England; making the population bigger than Northern Ireland and Wales combined?

•    The South West has also been recorded in recent times as having the fastest growing population in the UK.  Since this growth is driven by people migrating into the area, the South West clearly has lots to offer – it’s the place to move to!   Most inbound people cite the outstanding natural beauty of the South West as their reason for moving here, coupled with excellent Broadband connection.

•    The South West has more people of pensionable age and above than any other part of the UK. 

•    Almost four out of five employees in the South West work in the service industry. From a training perspective, therefore, this makes customer services training an essential part of our offering. 

•    Restaurants and hotels in the South West contribute more to the economy than any of their UK counterparts. 

•    The South West hosts more domestic tourists than any other part of the UK and is the fourth most popular choice for international tourists.  From a training perspective, this finding makes courses such as Customer Service Training across Cultures, International Consumer Behaviour, cultural awareness training, and international sales a key offering. 

•    Employment rates in the South West are one of the highest in the UK with high numbers of self-employed individuals.  As trainers, this makes finance-related courses key as it’s essential that self-employed individuals are financially literate and able to navigate documents such as P&Ls and Balance Sheets.  Equally, this also makes Sales an essential training course – if you can’t sell your business then the P&Ls will make for dismal reading!

•    The numbers of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance is lowest in North Dorset, West Dorset and West Devon.  The fact that our business operates in the Dorset and Devon areas is great as the only other companies offering business generic courses are based as far away as Exeter and Bristol, making our training offering a valuable doorstep commodity. 

•    With absolutely no relevance to training whatsoever (we don’t train people in how to live longer!), but interesting reading; life expectancy for women in the South West is higher than anywhere else in the UK at 83.1 years of age and for men, it is the second-highest in the UK at 79 years of age

Having lived in Somerset and now living in Dorset, reviewing this report made me proud and happy to live in the South West.  It is clearly a place that people want to visit and move to it is a ‘happy’ place to live – why else would people live longer than in any other part of the UK?!

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