Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050

Economic context

9 Oxfordshire has a fast-growing economy focussed on innovation, technology, life sciences and education. Science Vale UK has the highest concentration of science research facilities in Western Europe and Harwell Campus is home to the largest space cluster in Europe. Oxford University is the number one-ranked University in the World and it generates more technology spin-outs than any other UK university.

10 Oxfordshire has one of the strongest economies in the UK, it is one of only three net contributors to the treasury, delivering £21 billion per year to national output. The ambition of the Local Industrial Strategy (currently being prepared by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership) is to position Oxfordshire as one of the top-three global innovation ecosystems by building on the region's world-leading science and technology clusters, by ensuring there is the business and research space needed to continue to be at the forefront of innovation.

11 Oxfordshire's Labour Market Profile shows that it has high levels of employment with 81.6% of economically active people in employment and the largest employment sectors in Oxfordshire are wholesale and retail; professional scientific and technical; education; human health and social work; manufacturing; accommodation and food services. The level of educational attainment is higher in Oxfordshire than the national average with 50.7% of people having a level 4 or higher qualification (e.g. degree) with only 3.8% having no qualification. 63% of primary school pupils in Oxfordshire are meeting expected standards, with average scores in reading and below average in writing and maths. 46.3% of secondary school pupils in Oxfordshire achieved Grade 5 (high grade C/low B) or above in GCSE English and maths, above the England average. Educational qualifications alone are only one indicator, more broadly skills levels and availability of people with the right skills to match the needs of local employers is as important.