World class design, manufacturing, technical and service sector skills are found in Furness.

The are is good at making things, Manufacturing accounts for 30% of all jobs in Barrow Borough.Over 50% of all manufacturers export their products.

Whenever major investments occur there is an ability of companies to attract the required specialist skills or make arrangements to service such developments in  innovative ways.

An outstanding example of this is the way in which the shipyard at Barrow has grown from a workforce of just 2,900 in 2004 to 9,000 in 2019.

The offshore wind operations and maintenance industry has grown in Furness from nothing in 2007 to employ nearly 300 people now, there is a world class  cluster of skills based at 5 onshore bases operated by Orsted and Vattenfall from the port of Barrow 

There is also a long history of contractor personnel moving to work in Furness and of the area’s locally based workforce having the highest ration of apprentices than anywhere else in England.

The 313,000 population around Morecambe Bay that Furness firms typically draw their workforce from enables them to access skills of up to 313,000 people.

There are 15,000 companies around The Bay in the Lancaster and South Cumbria Economic Region.

Within Furness the skills concentrations include

  • 10,000 people employed in manufacturing;
  • 5,000 employed in healthcare;
  • employed in education;
  • working in retail;

In spring 2019 there is a pool of job-seekers of around with the highest concentrations residing in

The main employment locations for the skilled jobs in Furness are at Furness Business Park and in Barrow town centre in Hindpool ward, on Barrow island both at the port and in BAE SYSTEMS Maritime Submarines Ltd’s shipyard,at BAE Global Weapons Systems and in ormsfgiall ward at Robert McBride Ltd, Kimberly-Clark, Handmark Engineering Ltd, Joss Engineering Ltd. 


There are some great career opportunities on offer by Furness based companies and firms moving into the area. There is potential to earn high wages. Average wages in Barrow and Furness are some of the highest in the whole of the Northern Power House area of England

For young people awareness of the wide range of local companies what they do and the career prospects they offer is often a major challenge  there can also be in some cases a desire to “want to work at BAE SYSTEMS”.

FEDF, through its “Bright Futures” initiative works alongside FESP (Furness Education and Skills Partnership),Royal Academy of Engineering Cumbria Careers Hub, team based at Furness Academy and with Orsted and the Coastal Communities Fund have a focused programee to raise awareness of students teachers and parents about the range of career paths available.

Our starting point is what lifestyle do you wish to enjoy and how do you wish to get there?

We then highlight the range of skills that may be needed and the range of entry level, highly skilled and technical jobs that are performed in the area, this includes opportunities for young and older entrepreneurs to adopt self employment and deliver new businesses which might fill niches offering new products or services.

This is then combined with a mix of experiential learning and informative events and information aimed at briefing people about the types of business you could be employed in,together with an indication of where opportunities are emerging as new jobs in manufacturing and service industries.

The Furness College complements the area’s 45 Primary and 7 Secondary Schools in delivering learning opportunities, as do the local University of Cumbria, University of Lancaster and UCLAN.

These resources mean that you could develop a career in:

  • one of the many multinational companies in Furness;
  • or in a small or medium sized (sme) company serving just regional of UK markets;
  • Or in an sme that is active in Europe or worldwide;
  • in the public services such Cumbria Constabulary ,with government agencies or the fire and rescue service;
  • in the armed services;
  • or in leisure retail accommodation, or even; in central or local government;
  • in quarrying construction and seamanship;
  • the energy sector;
  • social enterprises;
  • your own company as an entrepreneur.

Here is the choice open to you for employment in Furness:

  • 135 Manufacturing firms;
  • 3,745 Companies operating in Furness;
  • commuting in or out to work i companies located in Lancaster, Kendal, Millom, Sellafield, or
  • become an entrepreneur and be one of the 255-320 new businesses which typically start up each year

Here are some examples of career openings with Multinational companies:

North America owned firms include:

  • Ametek;
  • Conoco Philips;
  • Electric Boat;
  • Kimberly-Clark;
  • L3MAPPS;
  • Lockheed Martin;
  • Moog Inc (Tritech international);
  • Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine;
  • Oil States Barrow Ltd;
  • One Subsea;

Rest of World owned firms include:

  • Acrastyle (India)                              
  • BAE Systems (UK)
  • Bender Gmbh (Germany)                          
  • Cap Gemini 
  • Centrica Energy (UK)
  • GlaxoSmithKilne
  • GVS (Italy)              
  • Jacobs UK (UK)
  • Impra Wood (Germany)               
  • MHI Vestas (Denmark/Japan) 
  • National Grid (UK)
  • Orsted (Denmark)                                        
  • Scottish Power (UK)
  • Siemens (Germany)
  • Sovereign (France)
  • Vattenfall (Sweden)

Career prospects available locally enable you to consider working in companies Involved in:

  • Acoustic Mapping of Seabed;
  • Bio-pharmaceuticals and life sciences;
  • Building Preservatives;
  • Candles to Chemistry;
  • detergent manufacture;
  • construction;
  • Directional Drilling Systems;
  • Energy generation – oil, gas, wind;
  • electronics or electrical power systems;
  • electrical fibre optics installation;
  • Electrical Transmission Equipment;
  • Fabrication of Modules;
  • Filtration Equipment;
  • Furniture manufacture;
  • health care and nursing;
  • LED Energy Efficient Lighting;
  • local government administration
  • logistics and transport;
  • Mine Detection;
  • paper tissue manufacture;
  • Play Equipment;
  • precision engineering;
  • Publishing;
  • Robotics;
  • Seamanship;
  • software simulations;
  • Sub sea Power Connectors Equipment;
  • Submarine design, build, test and commissioning;
  • switch-gear design manufacture;
  • Technical Design;
  • Technical documentation;
  • Timber Production;
  • wind farm operations and maintenance;
  • And many specialist services;

You could develop a career in a locally owned small or medium sized company which is trading around the world, examples include:

  • Accurite Industries Ltd
  • Allan Webb Ltd
  • Astec Precision Ltd
  • JG Black Polymers Ltd
  • Burlington Slate Ltd
  • CGP Books Ltd
  • Driveline Engineering +
  • James Fisher Group 
  • Forge Europa Ltd
  • Fortis Engineering Ltd
  • Handmark Engineering Ltd
  • LA12 Ltd
  • Lumiere Ltd
  • Marl international Ltd
  • Oxley Developments Ltd
  • Playdale Playgrounds Ltd
  • Rovtech Systems Ltd
  • Slacks Millom Ltd
  • Structural Science Composites Ltd
  • Wax-Lyrical