The history of Belfast dates back thousands of years, but its growth as an urban area started during the early17th century after it was granted the ‘town’ status, thanks to its proximity to Belfast Lough. The city got its name from the Gaelic ‘Beal Feirste’ meaning ‘mouth of the sandbanks.’ Now it is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland.
Over the past few years, Belfast has transformed its image from a city with “the Troubles” due to political violence to a peaceful and friendly city bustling with tourists from all around the globe. In fact, Belfast was voted the best UK city for tourism activities by readers of the Guardian and the Observer newspapers. It is also one of the top 10 UK cities to live and work, according to a recent PwC report. The Mercer’s ‘Quality of Living’ rankings have listed Belfast as the 5th best city in the UK. It is no wonder then that more and more jobseekers are now looking for an opportunity in Belfast.
Job OpportunityThe entire Northern Ireland region, including the capital Belfast, has seen steady growth in job creation over the past few years. According to the latest PwC report, Northern Ireland ranked #5 among the 12 UK regions in terms of job creation. The manufacturing sector alone created around 7000 new jobs between 2010 and 2015; while services sector is likely to be the key driver of the region’s job growth over the next 10 years, said the report. Key growth sectors include tourism, advanced engineering, retail, and digital and creative. Belfast has also seen huge growth in industrial activities, resulting in more than 16 percent growth in employment during the last decade.
Many acclaimed business organisations, including Software Company Kainos, manufacturing firm Andor, aerospace company Bombardier Inc., and e-commerce solution provider Sophia Search Limited, are headquartered in Belfast. Jobs are also available in digital and creative sectors, in top companies, such as Wild Rover and Blacknorth Studio.
Key IndustriesHistorically, Belfast’s economy was dependent mainly on shipbuilding and trading through the Belfast Harbour. It has also been the world’s largest exporter of linen during the early 20th century. Many large ships, including the famous Titanic was assembled in Belfast. Over the years, the economy of Belfast has become more diversified. Now the city is home to a number of industries. Here’s a close look at the key job generating sectors in Belfast.
TourismAccording to the latest government statistics, Belfast attracts more than 6.5 million tourists every year. The tourism sector creates around 10,000 jobs and contributes around £450 million to the local economy every year. In an attempt to escalate the growth of this sector, the city council is making new investments to improve the city’s infrastructure. Belfast Waterfront has been recently expanded to accommodate a larger audience.
Advanced engineeringBelfast is home to an established aeronautics industry and the flourishing ocean shipping and renewable energy sectors. Belfast plant is famous worldwide for manufacturing C series aeroplanes. The aeronautics sector contributes around €400 million to the local economy annually.
Digital and CreativeBelfast houses a number of famous film and television studios, including the Titanic Studios built over an area of more than eight acres. Many world famous films and television series, including Game of Thrones and City of Ember, were filmed in Belfast. Whether you are an aspiring graphic designer, actor, director or writer; you are likely to find a suitable opportunity in the city.
Finance and Professional ServiceBelfast being the capital and main financial centre of Northern Ireland, provides ample employment opportunity for capital marketers, investment bankers, and other finance professionals. There is a number of insurance, ICT and professional services companies in the city.
Medical ResearchBelfast houses many companies specialising in medical research, such as HeartSine and Andor Technologies. While the former is famous for inventing new cardiac emergency technology, the latter is well known for its research on scientific cameras. Medical students or professionals planning to research more in their respective fields should look for a suitable opportunity in Belfast.
Belfast is a great place to live and work. If you are planning to build your career in the city, you are definitely on the right track.