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From aviation to agency work – the job market in Bristol

Written by Kimberley Startup | October 9, 2013 | 3 Comments
happy staffFor both candidates and the firms actually recruiting staff, it is instructive to be well-informed on the recruitment strengths of various UK cities. If there’s one good place for both parties to be based according to Webrecruit (, it is Bristol, which has long been one of the UK’s most affluent cities.
Bristol is a strong focus for aeronautical engineering recruitment, with the city being home to such major aviation companies as Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce. These firms are all located in the city’s northern outskirts at Filton, a long-time base for aircraft production. Filton has a strong association with Concorde, and the aerospace industry remains central to the local economy, with aerospace engineering also being a key area research at the local University of the West of England.
Other strengths of the city’s job market include defence, information technology, media, tourism and finance recruitment. Since 1995, the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s Procurement Executive, now Defence Equipment and Support, has been based in a purpose-built headquarters at Abbey Wood, Filton, where some 7,000 to 8,000 procurement and support professionals are employed.
Meanwhile, there are around 40,000 people employed in the city’s financial services sector, while the strength of the high tech sector is shown by the presence of 50 micro-electronics and silicon design companies, across which around 5,000 people are employed. Bristol also welcomes nine million visitors every year, contributing to a buoyant tourism industry.
Bristol also plays its part within a highly creative south west region, with many independent film and production companies being based here. Indeed, the city has a strong reputation for the arts and media, with Aardman Animations being known for its stop frame animation films and commercials, while the BBC Natural History Unit and BBC West’s regional headquarters are also located here.
The city’s major graduate employers range from the law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol to the television production company Endemol, magazine publishers Origin and the investment, retirement and insurance group AXA. These companies might not presently be recruiting, but nonetheless provide a guideline for prospective Bristol candidates and recruiters.
Bristol is also where many recruitment agencies can be found, often engaging and supplying candidates to hiring employers on a temporary basis. But agency workers in the city are advised to be aware of their rights, including to their right to the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday. Should they spend 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer, they become entitled to basic terms and conditions on a par with other employees doing the same job in their workplace.
Webrecruit ( is able to assist Bristol jobseekers and firms looking to recruit staff, with the complete online service. Contact us now about our quality, but low cost fixed fee resourcing and recruitment services.

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