London is indisputably a global commercial hub. But with this benefit to employers and career-builders come the drawbacks of stressful commutes, with insufficient allowances, and an exorbitant cost of living. So it comes as no real surprise that ambitious careerists are looking at working in other areas of the country to have a better quality of life for their children at a significantly reduced cost.
At first glance, it might seem that there will be an inevitable slump in the quality of the work and career trajectory. However, this is not the case. In the digital sector alone, over 280,000 people are employed across the North of England. Financial services employ over 400,000 people outside of the capital. While salaries may not meet their London equivalents, there is an instant saving to be made given the reduced housing and entertainment expenses. In short, having “it all” may be a whole lot easier in the North.
It is also worth businesses looking to Northern hubs for local, less costly talent. Birmingham and Manchester’s job creation rates are second only to London, while Manchester and Leeds contribute more to the national economy than the whole of Wales. With the government’s agenda of balancing the economy so that it increases economic growth throughout the UK and simultaneous tentative plans to increase infrastructure connectivity across the key Northern cities, opportunities for businesses and their staff are ripe. Business North, a new group formed with the help of the CBI to assist the government, is illustrative of the drive that Northern cities have to really make their mark.
The Office for National Statistics confirms this trend: London is still creating more new businesses year in year out than other parts of the country, but the North East, North West and Yorkshire consistently outperform the capital in terms of the percentage of businesses still in operation after five years. Employment rates indicate that the percentage of people in work in the North East, North West and Yorkshire differs only slightly from those in work in London and that all regions apart from Yorkshire are showing an increase in this percentage from this time last year.
This bodes well for employers and employees who are looking further afield to increase their market, their brand and their talent base.
Let us know what you consider to be the greatest power in the North in the comments below or on Twitter at @LaudaleHQ.