It was Drake that once said ‘being Number 2 is just being the first to lose.’ That’s certainly not true of the UK’s second city. The former world leader of the Industrial Revolution has experienced one heck of a glow-up in recent years, making it one of the best cities to live and work in around.
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A better question would be ‘Why not?’ Honestly, the accent isn’t as bad as everyone likes to make out. If you want to get out of the London bubble and still enjoy a prosperous career, look no further. Birmingham is not only the biggest city outside of London, but it also has the second largest metropolitan economy in the UK, with the total GDP standing at a cool £121 billion.
During the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham got way ahead of the curve and have pretty much stayed there ever since. Often hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world, it’s now dominated by the service sector and is a leading hub for retail, transport, events and conferences across Europe. It’s also the biggest centre of higher education outside London with a whopping six universities, so if you ever miss your student days, rest assured that they’re not far away
If you want to get out of the London bubble and still enjoy a prosperous career, look no further
While the city itself is large, the city centre itself is small and dead easy to navigate. You can still find all the food, entertainment and attractions you can imagine in a huge city and there’s plenty to do in the suburbs too. Getting around is a breeze with trains and trams from gorgeous New Street Station going practically everywhere, as well as buses and dirt-cheap taxis (Uber is HUGE there). Post-war reconstruction has meant millions has been poured into the city’s infrastructure, meaning there’s a litany of beautiful roads and buildings as well as fabulous green spaces.
Oh, and it’s got more canals than Venice. The Brummies will be upset with us if we don’t mention that.
Typically, a place the size of Birmingham means thousands upon thousands of opportunities and the so-called City of A Thousand Trades doesn’t disappoint.
Birmingham is the largest centre in Great Britain for employment in public administration, education and health, and after Leeds, the second largest centre outside London for employment in financial and other business services. Although just 8% of the city’s economy accounts for manufacturing and engineering, these companies still provide a whopping 100,000 jobs.
Brum also boasts large insurance market and thousand upon thousands of firms of all sizes, with everything from law and creative to overseas banks and management consultancy firms on offer.
The versatility of Birmingham’s economy means that there’s a huge range of graduate jobs available there, from a myriad of different companies. Here’s a list of the ones with jobs you’ll find on the Debut app:
- Deutsche Bank
- Rolls Royce
- Virgin Media
Cost of living
It’s a known fact that the cost of living drops significantly the further you move outside of London and Birmingham is no different. Life for the average person will cost £567 a month not including rent, which comes in at £666 a month on average for a one-bed apartment in the city centre. You’ll also make killer savings on transport – lines are shorter so trains tend to be cheaper and taxis are very competitively priced. Crucially, the average pint is £3.64, which isn’t bad considering we’re only halfway up the country here.
All told, Birmingham’s cost of living comes in 22% lower than London’s while you’ll get the same average starting salary of £30,000. This means a move to Birmingham over London will leave you with more disposable income whilst you enjoy many of the great benefits you get living in any other big city.
Birmingham’s cost of living comes in 22% lower than London’s while you’ll get the same average starting salary of £30,000.
Brum is one of the most important transport hubs in the country, served by many motorways, railways, air and even canals. That makes it pretty easy to get anywhere and everywhere. London is 1hr 25 mins away via Virgin Train or a two hour drive down the M40, which also goes to Oxford.
Should you want to explore the Midlands, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Derby, Nottingham and the Black Country are all less than an hour away. Further afield, Virgin Trains run services to Glasgow and Edinburgh while Cross Country run trains to Wales, all from beautifully refurbished New Street Station. Many of these destinations and more are accessible by National Express from Digbeth Coach Station, too. Conveniently, Birmingham’s international airport is a 10 minute train ride from the city centre and flies to hundreds of destinations including New York, Dubai, Paris and Madrid.
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