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Working in Cardiff?

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Cardiff at a Glance

Working in Cardiff

Cardiff offers many diverse working opportunities for all expats: the city has a wide range of sectors and industries that boost the local job market. Find out some more information and expat advice about working in Cardiff in our expat guide!

Local Economy

During the late 20th century the traditional industries of the area such as coal fell into decline, forcing a change of focus for the city. Tiger Bay, as the docklands area was known, was once the most important coal port in the world, but it became redundant and derelict. Regeneration work began during the 1990s, transforming the docks into a modern, vibrant waterfront development — the largest of its kind in Europe. 

In 1997, following a vote in favor of devolution of powers from central government in London, the process of creating a local government for Wales began. By 2007, two separate authorities were in place; the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales. Cardiff Bay is now home to the National Assembly for Wales, whose headquarters are located in the dramatic Sennedd building and two additional buildings nearby. The creation of the National Assembly has had a positive impact on employment in the city. 

Cardiff has successfully moved into the service sector, with financial services, insurance and call centers now providing a high proportion of the employment in Cardiff. Tourism and retail are also significant sectors in Cardiff. Around 10% of the workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector, in areas such as pharmaceuticals. A relatively new growth industry in Cardiff is TV and film making, with companies attracted to the area by lower production costs than in England. Popular UK TV shows such as Doctor Who, Merlin, Torchwood and Casualty have all been filmed in the city.

Job Hunting in Cardiff

Expats move to Cardiff for work in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, IT and tourism. The majority of job vacancies in Cardiff are advertised online on recruitment websites such as JobWales and JobsInWales. Some positions are also advertised in local newspapers. 

Fluency in English is essential for expats wanting to work in Cardiff. There is no requirement for you to speak Welsh for most employment in Cardiff, but if you take the trouble to learn a little of the language it will be much appreciated by the Welsh, who have great pride in their local language and heritage. 

Work Permits for Cardiff 

Citizens of the EU are entitled to work in Cardiff without needing to apply for a work permit. Foreign nationals from outside the EU will need to obtain a work permit for the UK. In most cases, foreigners from non-EU states are required to have an offer of employment before they will be able to secure a work permit for the UK. When you have worked in the UK for 5 years as a permit holder, you can apply for permanent residence in the UK. For further information about obtaining a permit to work in the UK visit the official website.

InterNations Expat Magazine