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Portsmouth is one of the most populated areas in the UK.

Of the 200,000 residents living in the city, over 69% are of working age, which is a slightly higher proportion than in either the South East (64.1%) or the UK (65%)1.

Qualification levels in Portsmouth are also relatively high. Nearly half of the working age population (50.1%) are qualified to the National Vocational Qualifications 3 (NVQ3) and above2.

Portsmouth has a particular strength in manufacturing, information and communication technology and business services. It is the home to a number of world leading companies such as BAE Systems, EADS Astrium, and IBM.

The average gross weekly earnings for men in Portsmouth is £489.8 and for women is £405.3 (2009)3.

The University of Portsmouth has over 20,000 students. In 2004, the University was awarded two Centres of Excellence in teaching and learning. The University is committed to the economic development and the regeneration of the city.  They achieve this by supporting business, enterprise, innovation and enhancing workforce development.  They have invested significantly in establishing the 'Purple Door' service for businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations and individual entrepreneurs within the South East. The service offers support functions, advice, resources, recruitment and research facilities which are available within the University.

The Highbury College in Portsmouth, with over 40 years teaching and learning experience, provides a vast range of courses, from basic skills courses to foundation degree courses that could give students access to university. Highbury has become one of the most dynamic colleges in the South East, and is undergoing extensive redevelopment that will provide some of the most modern learning facilities in Europe. Highbury College also provides specialised services for business that can tailor training packages to suit business requirements.

The Portsmouth College has a large number of adult programmes. The college delivers a wide range of vocational and academic course as well as fun courses in the community. It also works with several large companies and charities around the city, delivering either business training customised to their needs or business-appropriate NVQs.

1,2,3: nomis official labour market statistics.

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