Cardiff has undergone extensive regeneration in recent years to become a vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan city. The Welsh capital was the fastest-growing core UK city over the past decade and is projected to grow by 26% over the next 20 years. To accommodate its 91,500 extra residents, the council plans to build 41,100 homes and create some 40,000 new jobs.
If you’re thinking of moving to Cardiff, read on for our guide to living and working in the city.
Why live and work here
When it comes to quality of life, Cardiff is hard to beat. The city was named Europe’s third-best capital in which to live (behind Oslo and Belfast) in the 2016 Quality of Life in European Cities Survey recently – and it’s easy to see why.
With mountains to the north, the coast to the south, and an abundance of parks and castles – not to mention the city’s many cultural venues and world-class sporting arenas – there’s no shortage of leisure opportunities to choose from at the weekend.
And while Cardiff has all the facilities of a capital city, it’s compact enough to have the friendly feel of a small town. Following extensive regeneration with more planned for the future, there’s an optimistic and youthful vibe to the place. Nearly 25% of residents are aged 20-34, in part thanks to the many students who choose to stay after graduation.
Average wages might be lower than many big UK cities, but then house prices in the Welsh capital are also lower – 6.6 times the value of salaries compared to a UK average of 8.8.
City regeneration and jobs growth
Despite having undergone massive regeneration in recent years, particularly around the city centre and Cardiff Bay, the Welsh capital has ambitious plans for the future – including a £300m Innovation Campus at Cardiff University, a new BBC Wales development, and proposed metro system.
‘With infrastructure development going on in the city for many years, growth in the economy has led to businesses steadily increasing their headcounts. After outgrowing their city centre offices, many companies have moved into larger, purpose-built facilities,’ says Kim Partridge, Branch Manager of Cordant People Cardiff, which specialises in general staffing recruitment as part of nationwide recruitment giant, Cordant Recruitment.
‘Once completed, this latest round of investment and better transport links will attract more businesses into the area, creating greater demand and job opportunities, especially amongst professional skilled workers.’
Kim is already seeing increased demand for office support roles in the city, including administrators, receptionists, PAs and secretaries, as well as strong growth in the financial, legal, professional services, construction and media and IT sectors.
‘We’ve also seen a rise in the demand for fluent Welsh language speakers and are always keen to speak with candidates who are skilled in this area,’ adds Kim.
Main sectors and employers
Each day around 80,000 people – over a third of the city’s workers – commute in to Cardiff.
The city has strong financial services, retail, media and tourism sectors. Around 21,473 people work in tourism in Cardiff and the industry is worth more than £1.05bn to the city’s economy. Cardiff also has a cluster of around 100 bioscience related companies, such as GE Healthcare (employing over 1,000 people locally), Shaw Healthcare, Bio Trace and Cogent.
Unlike other cities, Cardiff relies on a few major employers, and rates less well for business start-ups. Amongst major companies looking to expand is Deloitte, which plans to create 700 new jobs over the next five years – to add to its 400-strong work force in the city. Insurance giant Admiral, which employs more than 5,200 staff in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea, recruited an extra 250 people in January this year and has further plans to expand.
Media and digital sector
The digital sector has become a key driver of economic output in Wales. According to a report from Tech Nation 2016, the specialist skills that saw the highest employment rate were cyber-security and software development, while the games industry has also seen strong growth over the last five years.
The Welsh government is investing £30 million in the development of film and television projects in the country between 2014 and 2019. Major TV and film developments have included Pinewood Studios in Cardiff, Dragon Studios in Pencoed, Swansea Bay Studios and BAD WOLF Productions. There is a further £3 million investment in digital technologies.
Construction and engineering
It’s not just office jobs that are booming. Julian Davies, a specialist construction and engineering consultant at OneWay, has seen increased demand for both temporary and permanent construction and engineering staff.
‘As more companies move into the social housing field to meet the growing need for affordable housing in Britain’s major cities, we can expect the demand for these professionals to continue,’ he says.
‘In particular, firms are seeking temporary engineering and construction labour to man the ever-increasing number of projects that we’re seeing in Cardiff. As these individuals have become more highly sought after they’ve also been able to dictate their pay with many reporting higher than average rates for labour positions.’
If you’re looking for work opportunities and a great quality of life, there couldn’t be a better time to come to Cardiff.
Interested in working in Cardiff? Find jobs at CareerBuilder.co.uk!
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