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  • Jan-Peter van Tijk

    I wish I'd found InterNations sooner: It would have made my first few month as an expat in London much less overwhelming.

Employment in Birmingham

Birmingham is a great city to work in and getting to and from it could not be easier. It has excellent links to the rest of the UK. There is a reliable rail network linking Birmingham with the rest of the country and Birmingham International Airport is only about 15 minutes away by train.

Local Economy

More than 4 billion pounds are to be invested in its infrastructure development as a city of global importance over the next decades. Birmingham also has around 200 law firms, many top accountancy firms, 50 major property services, banking specialists and one of Europe’s largest insurance markets. There are many multinational and large employers. This includes such names as the BBC, Jaguar Landrover, Arup, Dolland and Aitchinson, Deutsche Bank, Fujitsu, E-on, Muller and Severn Trent Water. The West Midlands is home to countless small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), many at the forefront of new technological developments.

Entrepreneurs have demonstrated their enthusiasm for working in this new Birmingham as well. More than 16,000 new businesses were established in 2013.

Birmingham Science Park, Aston, is home to the growing Innovation Birmingham complex, which currently houses 86 technology companies working on everything from games to business information services. Gaming in particular is an area where Birmingham tech businesses are gaining international attention.

Job Hunting in Birmingham

Many expats will be transferring to a job from a previous employer, or they may have something new lined up already. Others may be taking a slightly less planned approach and are aiming to start job hunting when they reach Birmingham. So how will you go about it?

There are many local newspapers in Birmingham, which are a good place to start. There’s The Birmingham Mail, The Birmingham Post, The Express and Star, and also free papers like The Metro. All have jobs sections and all have online versions of their papers as well, so your search can start before you get there if that’s what you wish.

The newspapers will be a good way to source local jobs, but a general search online will pull up any number of agencies trying to fill jobs in the area, not to mention jobs available in local government and through the local council.

Birmingham’s role as an economic hub is reflected in its status as one of the UK’s largest financial centers outside of London and its attraction as a location for business and professional services with a significant number of regional and national HQs. If you want work – it’s there.

Income Taxation in Birmingham

Individual tax payment arrangements will vary depending on where you pay your taxes. Broadly speaking, the UK Government will make deductions from your wages for National Insurance (NI) contributions, which are used for funding the state welfare system. If you earn above 146 GBP a week your wages will be deducted for NI contributions.

Everyone in the UK, including students, has to pay tax on their earnings. The government department that deals with this is called the Inland Revenue. The amount of tax that you have to pay depends on how much you earn. The tax is paid by your employer and is deducted from your wages each time you are paid (known as ‘PAYE’- pay as you earn). This will be displayed on your payslip. All adults are entitled to a ‘Personal Allowance’, which is an amount of income that you can earn without being taxed on it each year. At the time of writing in 2015, the Personal Allowance stood at 10,000 GBP.

This month we are reading this novel which is a multigenerational saga exploring the impacts of colonialism and exile. It traces a family's experiences over a century as they migrate from India to Afr

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