Only two and a half hours drive from London, Birmingham is now the most popular relocation destination for Londoners, thanks to the city’s vibrant culture, clean environment, and low house prices. According to the latest government data, 5,480 people moved from London to Birmingham within a period of just one year.
Birmingham is on the fast track to reclaim its lost glory as an industrial hub, with many established businesses, including Fujitsu, HSBC, BBC, Deutsche Bank, and Jaguar Land Rover, expanding operations in the city. In fact, Birmingham has been named the best city to invest in the UK - and the sixth-best in Europe, according to a survey by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC.
From Bullring Shopping Centre to Symphony Hall, rock bands, theatres, museums, art galleries, and Asian style cuisine Balti, Birmingham is famous for many things to many people and a great place to live, work and play.
Job OpportunityBirmingham has seen nearly six percent growth in employment since recession – second only to London among all UK cities, according to statistics from ONS. The West Midlands Combined Authority – a combined authority for Birmingham and six other metropolitan boroughs – has taken a number of pro-business initiatives to turn West Midlands into an economic powerhouse over the next few years. And the results are already showing up. Acclaimed department stores chain John Lewis is investing £150m to start its manufacturing unit in the city, while HSBC has plans to move its UK retail business to Greater Birmingham area by 2019. Also, the Birmingham City Council has plans to redevelop the Snow Hill station area – which could create around 10,000 new jobs, 200,000 square metres of office space, and 4,000 new homes over the next few years. With the presence of leading IT firms, construction companies, engineering firms, and educational institutions, the city has the capacity to offer both entry-level and senior level jobs to professionals from almost every field, including engineers, business managers, researchers, teachers, construction workers and technicians.
Key IndustriesBirmingham’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5 percent per annum from 2015 through 2030, mainly driven by manufacturing, engineering, banking, and retail industries, according to a report by The Birmingham City Council. What gives Birmingham a competitive edge over other UK cities are its strategic location, great connectivity supported by metro, high speed rail, and Birmingham Airport, skilled workforce, and economic diversity. While being a leading manufacturing hub for jewellery, metal products and glass items, the city is also an important centre of legal activities, with the UK’s largest Birmingham Law Society and acclaimed law firms, including DLA Piper, Squire Patton Boggs, and Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co., operating from Birmingham. Let’s take a look at some of the city’s major job generating sectors.
Automotive and Aerospace EngineeringBirmingham and its surrounding areas are home to some the country’s best automotive companies, including MG Motor UK and Jaguar Land Rover. Many international automotive manufacturing companies, including Tata, SAIC, and BMW have manufacturing units in the city. In addition, acclaimed aerospace engineering firms, such as Goodrich Corporation, LEP, and GKN have factories in the city. The automotive engineering sector in the West Midlands area provides employment to around 115,000 people and accounts for 30 percent of the UK’s automotive revenues, says a report by The Birmingham City Council.
Financial and Insurance ServicesThere are more than 1900 banks, financial institutions and insurance companies in Birmingham, employing more than 115,000 people in the city. Some national and international financial and insurance services firms including RBS, Pwc, and Ernst & Young have offices in Birmingham.
RetailBirmingham is also a thriving centre for retail business. Many of the country’s largest shopping malls, including The Pavilions, The Bullring, The Mailbox, and The Pallasades are located in the city. In addition, the city houses many department store chains, such as House of Fraser, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, and Debenhams. The Mailbox shopping centre houses several acclaimed fashion stores, while top fashion brands, including Hugo Boss, Radley, Thomas Sabo, and Armani Exchange are present in The Bullring Mall.
Some other key industries in Birmingham include tourism, food & drink, and ICT & digital media. There is no lack of career opportunities in the city. All you need is to be there and seize the right opportunity.