Grangemouth is a town in central Scotland with a population of around 18,000. Its location on the Firth of Forth meant it was once a busy port, although petrochemicals has now replaced shipping as the area's biggest industry.
The Ineos-owned oil refinery is one of the largest in Europe and provides employment for 1,200 people at the site, as well as supporting many more jobs in the local supply chain. The second largest private sector employer in Grangemouth is Whyte & Mackay, which has more than 200 staff at its bottling plant. In fact, whisky production is one of the major industries in the local area, as Diageo has four sites within 15 miles and there are also a number of smaller distilleries.
This partly explains why manufacturing accounts for 14% of the jobs, compared with the Scottish average of 8.7%. As well as production staff and engineers, local recruitment agencies also focus on tradesmen, as 8.9% of workers are employed in construction, which is well above the UK figure of 4.8%. The public sector is also strong and accounts for 30.6% of employment.
Only 30% of the local workforce is educated to NVQ4 level or above, compared with the Scottish average of 37.2%. Salaries were also relatively low in Grangemouth in 2012, with the average weekly wage £18.50 below the norm for Scotland at £479.80, while the unemployment rate was slightly higher than the national figure at 8.5%.