Sectors of industry

by Business Case Studies on Tuesday 10th May, 2011

Although the wealth of the UK's richest people dropped by £155 billion during the recession in 2009, the last year has seen them increase their wealth by 18% according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The number of billionaires has also increased by 20, currently at 73, and includes the first female, self-made billionaire, Dame Mary Perkins of Specsavers. So, which sectors of industry are creating the most wealth for this rich list? Sir Paul McCartney has done well out of the tertiary industry, remaining the richest performing musician in the country. He increased his wealth by £20 million this year. In the secondary industry, Xiuli Hawken is now worth £1.066 billion from her work converting air raid shelters in China to underground shopping centres. Those in the primary sector have had mixed fortunes, particularly the steel industry. Although still at the top of the list, Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal's wealth dropped by 22% while at the same time Alisher Usmano, another steel tycoon, added £7.7 billion to his fortune. (BBC News 8th May 2011).

The tertiary industry now accounts for three quarters of the UK's GDP; however the other sectors still have an important role to play, as the figures above indicate. The oil and gas industry, for instance, is a major contributor to the UK economy and supports nearly half a million jobs. It also generates around £40 billion per year in revenues. OPITO – The Oil and Gas Academy is the focal point for skills, learning and workforce development in the industry. It is therefore key to ensuring that the industry has the right workers with the right skills to allow it to continue to provide energy to meet the needs of the current and future population of the country. Not only does the industry require workers in traditional, primary sector jobs such as those involved in extracting oil, but it needs support workers in both secondary and tertiary roles too. The combination of these diverse services is essential for the future growth of the industry.

Questions

1. Define primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.

2. Explain what is meant by the chain of production.

3. Using the OPITO case study, draw a simple chain of production for a litre of petrol being sold at a filling station.

4. Using the OPITO case study, give examples of oil and gas job roles in each of the three sectors.

Answers to questions

1. Define primary, secondary and tertiary sectors -Primary industry is concerned with the extraction of raw materials e.g. mining, fishing and forestry.Secondary industry is involved with manufacturing and construction e.g. car factory, builders.Tertiary industry is concerned with providing a service e.g. retail, banking and tourism.

2. Explain what is meant by the chain of production -The chain of production is the process by which a product moves through the sectors of industry, adding value at each stage.

3. Using the OPITO case study, draw a simple chain of production for a litre of petrol being sold at a filling station.e.g.oil extraction (primary), oil refinement (secondary), sale of fuel (tertiary).

4. Using the OPITO case study, give examples of oil and gas job roles in each of the three sectors:

  • Primary roles include geologists, geophysicists, engineers, computer scientists, technicians etc.
  • Secondary roles include chemical engineers, pipeline engineers.
  • Tertiary roles include fuel retailers and wholesalers, accountants, lawyers, IT specialists and project managers.

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