Shared Vision: Training & Career Development in Birmingham
The Current Job Market and Employment Opportunities in Birmingham
The city of Birmingham and its metropolitan area are centrally located in England and can be reached by the M5, M6, M40 and M42 motorways and by rail and canal. This has made it a major industrial hub in many ways. Early growth and employment were centred on manufacturing. Whilst manufacturing has given way to the service industries, three of the ten largest employers, Kraft-Cadbury & Trebor, Jaguar Cars Ltd and Goodrich Corporation, are in the manufacturing industry. It is the second largest urban area in England, second only to London.
Over one-third of the 63,550 businesses listed in the West Midlands Metropolitan County are centred in Birmingham according to 2011 statistics issued by the Office for National Statistics. Of the 24,045 businesses listed in Birmingham, 9,690 have been in business for ten years or more and 16,410 have been in business from four to nine years.
The Office for National Statistics listed the median full-time weekly wage at £471 in the West Midlands. The five companies employing the most people in 2011 in Birmingham were National Express Group Plc (4,800), J Sainsbury Plc (3,470), Lloyds Banking Group Plc (3,220), Kraft-Cadbury & Trebor (2,500) and Asda (2,230). The top industries in West Midlands Metropolitan County are retail trades, food and beverage services, real estate, office administration, construction and wholesale. The West Midlands has 325 companies that employ over 250,000 people.
Career Development in Birmingham
The University of Birmingham not only offers degrees for students, but also has a Centre for Learning and Academic Development division that supports many activities beyond the classroom. Their e-learning programs are available for off-campus students and they have developed English language support for staff from other nations. Their academics include employment programmes so students will be trained well for their future jobs.
There are colleges that run career change courses in Birmingham including:
- Birmingham Adult Education Service
- Birmingham Metropolitan College
- South & City College Birmingham
- Bournville College
- Ptp Training and Marketing Ltd
- Oak Tree Management & Training Ltd
- Skillstudio Training
- Newman University College
- Fircroft College of Adult Education
These colleges not only help individuals change careers, but they help train future employees. Some of the courses offered include architecture, aviation, database training, computer graphics, cattle farming, business and management, web designing, social work, office skills and building maintenance.
There are many opportunities for networking in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Just a few of these are:
- Birmingham Connections meeting at The Vaults
- NRG Worcester meeting at Fusion Brasserie, Worcester
- Business Networking Dinner at Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham
- Link4More Coffee meeting at HTI Conference Center, Coventry
- Black Country Chamber Networking meeting at Walsall College, Walsall
- Women in Business Speed Networking Event meeting at Park Inn Hotel, Walsall
- 4N Walsall Business Breakfast meeting at the Village Hotel, Walsall
Apprenticeships and positions for trainees are widespread in Birmingham. They include trainee jobs for trading underwriters, estate agents, parts advisors, tax trainees, office administrators, stock traders, engravers, electricians, roofers, sales trainees, transport planners, personnel assistants, external auditors and dental nurses.
You'll find more information about business training companies and services on Actual Birmingham.
Further Considerations: Many companies require, or at least prefer, that perspective employees have a valid drivers license. Being able to drive broadens your range of opportunities, both in the type of position you can apply for, as well as the locations you can work in as not all are easily accessible by train or bus. Candidates that do not yet possess a drivers license should seriously consider learning to drive sooner rather than later. You can find a list of qualified instructors here.
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