London’s job market has taken a hit in recent years, just like the rest of the country – but the capital still offers more employment prospects than most parts of the UK, especially if you know where to look.
If you’re hoping to find a job in London, here are a few pointers to help you get started.
Say what you like about the banking sector, it’s still regarded by many as the engine room of the capital’s economy – and recent indications are that employment prospects are looking up.
Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor – which tracks job opportunities in the City – saw a rise of 25 per cent in the availability of financial jobs in the first quarter of 2013.
This was coupled with a seven per cent drop in jobseekers entering the market, meaning more jobs for less applicants in the Square Mile and its associated areas.
Significantly, people moving to new jobs in the sector did so for an average 17 per cent pay rise.
Hakan Enver, Morgan McKinley’s operations manager, said: ‘This picture of the hiring market is backed up by what employers are telling us; that there is more appetite to hire and the process is more fluid with fewer obstacles to bringing new talent on board.
‘The significant rise in salary offers in March 13 is positive for the strength of the jobs market.’
Technology has been one of the strongest sectors throughout the recession, and London’s own ‘Silicon Roundabout’ (aka East London’s trendy Old Street area) is leading the way for small-scale start-ups.
Tudor Aw, KPMG’s Head of Technology Europe, wrote in an opinion piece for the BBC: ‘The number of UK seed and start-up companies that have benefited from venture capital investment has grown steadily over the last few years, despite the financial crisis.
‘Today, almost 5,000 digital and technology companies are estimated to be operating in East London, almost half of all the UK start-ups.’
Tax breaks and support measures have been put in place to try to keep the momentum rolling – in the hope that the next Google or Facebook might emerge from the Old Street roundabout.
Details of affordable housing plans for the capital have been published in April – and the London Development Panel hopes to see £5bn worth of housing-led, mixed-use property development on publicly-owned land in the city within the next four years.
To put that in context, the rest of England put together is expected to get £4bn worth!
Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘The demand for housing in the capital is reaching unprecedented levels making the potential for development on public land far too important to ignore.
‘The London Development Panel will act as a one-stop shop for public land owners in the capital, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for them to bring their land forward for development, increasing the number of homes being built, creating jobs and boosting the capital’s economy.’
Ardmore, Kier, Lend Lease and Wates are among the contractors involved.
Efforts are being made to bring Britain’s capital into the 21st century – with a number of major projects under way to improve its infrastructure.
The massive Crossrail east-west rail line is finally under construction, with an estimated 14,000 people set to be involved in its supply chain.
A ripple effect is also anticipated on the areas around the line’s stations.
The Thames Tideway will be a 16-mile tunnel, mostly running under the river and carrying sewage and rainwater discharge – which currently overflows into the Thames.
Contractors are expected to be appointed within the next few months – and at an estimated total cost of £4.2bn, for a pretty hefty piece of work.
Boris Johnson also recently unveiled an ambitious £900m plan to turn London in a more cycling-friendly city – with an unbroken network of cycle paths and a major east-west cycle superhighway dubbed ‘Crossrail for bikes’.
Transport For London will be implementing the plan and opportunities with contractors and partner organisations are likely to emerge as the details are fleshed out.