Written by Kimberley Startup | November 6, 2013
A home to industrial and scientific pioneers down the years and Britain’s commonly cited ‘second city’, Birmingham – which is home to more than a million residents – may not attract anything like as much attention as London as a place to recruit staff through an agency like Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk). Nonetheless, it offers no shortage of business opportunities.
Cushman & Wakefield’s European Cities Monitor has declared Birmingham one of the top twenty of the continent’s cities in which to locate a business, and this is apparent across a number of sectors, despite the service sector accounting for 86 per cent of local employment as of 2008. Certainly, retail recruitment is prominent in Birmingham, where the busiest shopping centre in the UK – the Bullring – as well as major department stores like Debenhams, Selfridges and House of Fraser can be found.
However, Birmingham is also a longstanding centre for manufacturing, which still accounts for 10 per cent of the city’s employment. Although there has been a decline in manufacturing here down the years, several major industrial plants still remain, such as Cadbury Trebor Bassett in Bournville and Jaguar Land Rover in Castle Bromwich. Also continuing to be manufactured in great numbers in Birmingham is jewellery, with about 40 per cent of UK-manufactured jewellery being produced here.
Birmingham is also one of the most prominent UK cities for finance recruitment, only rivalled by the likes of London, Leeds and Glasgow. This is where two of the largest British banks – the Midland Bank and Lloyds Bank, now HSBC Bank and Lloyds Banking Group respectively – were founded, and many banks, insurance companies and law firms here continue to serve local and international clients.
Also attracting both candidates and firms interested in recruiting staff is an increasingly large tourism sector, as well as a conference and exhibition trade swelled by such major facilities as the National Exhibition Centre and the International Convention Centre. In addition, the city has many sporting and cultural venues, from the Villa Park and St. Andrew’s stadiums to Edgbaston Cricket Ground and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, that attract great numbers of visitors.
Those looking to recruit in the public administration, education and health fields will also be well-served in Birmingham, while candidates looking to upgrade their present qualifications or who have an interest in academic employment may investigate opportunities at the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham City University or University College Birmingham.
Birmingham remains a very significant centre for graduate recruitment, due to such organisations as Wragge & Co, the BBC, Birmingham City Council and Grant Thornton. Coventry, Watford and Stratford-upon-Avon are all also within commuting distance, which should make for even greater staff recruitment success for the area’s Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) clients.