Located between Cambridge and London, but with a significantly lower cost base than either, the county of Essex presents an attractive location proposition to companies in the life sciences and health technology sectors.
But these are industry sectors in which access to highly skilled workers is key. So does locating in Essex require compromises when it comes to workforce capabilities?
A skilled labour force across 'health technology' specialisations
A review of UK government (ONS) data  for Essex districts reveals high workforce concentrations in three classifications that are key for the health technology sector:
‘Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products’ (SIC C26):
In this key high-technology classification, the Essex districts of Harlow and Maldon display workforce concentrations that are more than 4 x the Great Britain average, and higher than the core ‘Cambridge Cluster’ districts of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.
In terms of workforce numbers, Essex is a match for Cambridgeshire in this classification:
‘Research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering’ (SIC 721)
Data for this key R&D classification reveals the continuation of the Cambridge life sciences and high-tech cluster southwards into Essex. The Essex district of Uttlesford, which neighbours South Cambridgeshire and includes Chesterford Research Park, displays a workforce concentration in this category of 3.1 x the Great Britain average.
‘Manufacturing of medical and dental instruments and supplies’ (SIC C325)
The Essex districts of Harlow and Southend are home to nationally significant ‘medical instruments manufacturing’ workforce concentrations: 5.3 x the Great Britain average in Harlow and 4.5 x the Great Britain average in Southend.
A reminder of those labour cost savings…
So, Essex is up there with the very best UK locations when it comes to the availability of a skilled life sciences and health technology labour force. But in Essex, those skills come with average labour costs that are significantly lower than Cambridge and London, and even lower than the Great Britain average: 
FIND OUT MORE
Contact INVEST Essex to find out more about the Essex UK Health Technology Cluster.
 ONS Location Quotients, 2011
 ONS, Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings, Workplace Analysis, 2015