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Working in Manchester?

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Manchester at a Glance

Working in Manchester

Manchester City forms part of the Greater Manchester conurbation of boroughs and cities, with Manchester the economic center of the region. Find the best way to take advantage of such a thriving environment: read up on job opportunities, work permits and more in this guide on working in Manchester.

Job Opportunities in Manchester

Knowledge-based industries are thriving in the city, as Manchester is fast becoming one of the most important locations in the UK for research, development, innovation and academic excellence; it has been recognized by the UK government as one of six “science cities” across the country.

Also, as a regional and national center of excellence for the service sector, the city region is home to a wealth of corporate service firms, from major shared service centers and outsourcers, to leaders in banking and financial services.

The Manchester city region offers a high quality workforce of 7.2 million people within an hour’s commute of the city center. Manchester has a large quantity of potential employees across a wide range of different industries, including ICT, bio-science, medical devices, creative, new media and digital, aviation, food, logistics and financial and professional services.

With an influx of international students at the city’s four successful universities, and other foreign nationals, Manchester has a highly diverse labor pool available, which attracts some of the very best employers. Companies such as Umbro, the Cooperative Group, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Royal Bank of Scotland and the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) all have headquarters based in the city.

With its excellent transportation links (the city region was ranked in the top 10 in Europe for transport links by Cushman & Wakefield’s European Cities Monitor 2011), Manchester can also boast a number of large logistical hubs. With overheads proving nearly a third less than in London, it is easy to see why so many companies continue to base their operations out of the city. As such, there are bound to be job opportunities found in Manchester for expatriates with skills in these various fields, from academia and the sciences to logistics.

Local Economy in Manchester

Manchester is a city of engineers, scientists, artists and industrialists; a growing number of talent hungry and multinational businesses are choosing to invest and locate their operations in this city because it offers diverse talent and a fantastic infrastructure.

The boroughs of Greater Manchester represent the largest functional economic area outside London, with a population of 2.7 million and a gross value added (GVA) of £54 billion.

The local economy is particularly strong in the financial and professional service, manufacturing and engineering industries (each area accounting for over 16% of the region’s total economy). However, health, retail and education all have a strong presence in the area and over recent years, there has been significant growth in the creative and digital sector. When compared to the rest of the country, outside London and the South East, Manchester has advantages in creative industries, IT and digital.

Concentrations of employment in financial and professional services demonstrate the truly national significance of Manchester; this sector accounts for a sixth of all employment and a fifth of GVA and businesses in the city region. Meanwhile, biotechnology and energy have become the most productive sectors in Manchester’s diverse industrial landscape.

Work Permits for Manchester

Permission to live and work in Manchester is standardized alongside the UK’s Immigration Policies. As such, a person must be able to provide evidence of their eligibility to take up employment before any employer will allow them to start work. However, there are several circumstances that allow you to live and work in the UK; these are dependent on your status and country of origin, and each requires different evidence to be provided.

Any individual who possesses a UK Passport may live and work in the UK without restrictions; employers will ask to see and copy the passport to show checks have been carried out.

EU/EEA citizens as well as Swiss nationals have the right to live and work within the UK; at the time of writing in February 2015, only Croatian nationals may still need to apply for a so called registration certificate. Expatriates hailing from further afield will be subject to providing evidence of work visas and/or travel documents. For a full guide to what documentation you will need to take up an offer of employment, best refer to our various articles on Visas and Administration in the UK

InterNations Expat Magazine