blog post Marcel, who has recently relocated from London after
completing a graduate role for a leading marketing recruitment
agency, shares his opinion on the North/South divide. Marcel
has a keen interest in Digital Marketing and has just completed an
internship as a marketing assistant. He is ideally placed to
discuss the differences between the North & South in terms of
looking for new opportunities, over to Marcel…
Thankfully we are well on our way out of the recession and there
have been significant improvements in the job market. That's not to
say finding employment is an easy task now but it is reassuring to
know that things are getting better.
Searching for a new role in this climate is challenging and can
be made even more so by limiting the geographical areas we search
in.It seems that most jobseekers have their sights firmly set on
the south of the country and as a result the north is somewhat
Having recently relocated from the South East to Manchester I
have discovered that there are many benefits to heading 'Up North' and would
advocate many more southerners to do the same. Cities such as
Manchester have a lot to offer and should certainly be included on
the list of regions you'd consider working in if looking for
advertising agency jobs, digital jobs or marketing jobs.
Being trapped in the gargantuan bubble that is London you could
be forgiven for forgetting that there is a world outside of the
capital. In fact the bubble is so big it seems to have created its
own gravitational pull, attracting millions of people throughout
the country to its epicentre.
People pack up and head off to London with the promise of higher
pay cheques and a better standard of living. This has resulted in a
densely populated environment full of high pressured, fast paced,
money hungry people and businesses that can leave you feeling a
I for one am glad to be out of the rat race, leaving behind
those long, expensive, cramped, monotonous tube journeys and never
ending traffic jams full of insistently angry drivers. I remember
my first "traffic jam" upon moving to Manchester (*chuckles*) if
only they knew.
Although I do have to admit, there is one key memory of London
that, unfortunately, I haven't been able to leave behind; and it's
that's really irritating, ear piercing, screechy sound the tube
makes whilst hurtling through those black tunnels… ouch, it
torments my ears to this very day.
Now it's no surprise that the capital attracts such large
volumes of people, since coming out of the recession most of the
economical growth experienced has been happening in the south of
the country specifically London.
On top of this, Wages in the capital have surged by 45.6% since
the year 2000. In 2000 Londoners earned £5,356 more than the
national average, taking home £24,204 a year. Last year this figure
rose to £35,238 which is 23% higher than the national average of
£27,017 (Office for National Statistics).
But is this financial allure all a façade?
The cost of living in the capital is substantially higher than
anywhere else in the country, especially when compared to the North
West. Studies into the true spending powers of salaries around the
country have found that those living in the North of England enjoy
a higher standard of living and a better quality of life.
When looking at average salaries in relation to the local cost
of living Cheshire came out on top as the best place to live. This
study by Barclays Bank highlights the fact that, while the biggest
salaries are available in the South, the high cost of living there
means the money does not go as far as it does elsewhere.
So the millions of Britons that have ventured South in search of
a better standard of living and aspirations of wealth could well
have been better off staying put, equally those who opt out of the
southern rat race and move North could be even bigger winners.
This could explain why everyone seems a lot less angry in
Manchester than when compared to London. I've never encountered
such calm and polite drivers it's like they've never heard of the
term road rage. Could it be that the further north you dare to
venture the friendlier the people become?
I would wholly subscribe to this theory. It would seem
that the people of the North have found a better work life balance,
and this balance is sustainable due to a healthy working
environment alongside decreased financial pressures. It also seems
a lot less crowded so there is a lot more room to breathe and on
top of that the air you're breathing is considerablyfresher(In both
senses of the word).
And it's not just breathing space that's increased its living
space too. One of the biggest challenges that young adults are
faced with today is getting onto the property ladder. It appears an
almost impossible feat in the south but in moving north it could
become a much more realistic goal.
UK house prices: April to June 2013
The rise of house prices in the capital is a consistent trend
that is set to continue due to very limited space in a highly
condensed area. London's house prices also rise significantly
faster than those of the north, so property in Manchester is set to
remain considerably cheaper for the foreseeable future. This makes
the North West much more attractive to both employees and their
Manchester has the potential to become a real super city of the
UK, doing for the North West what London has done for the south.
It's been developing slowly but surely for the last decade and is
crying out for an influx of talented southerners.
It's already home to well renowned universities full of bright
young talent from up and down the country, a good percentage of
which stay in the city after graduating. The more graduates that
stay in or move to Manchester after graduating the more attractive
the city will become to employers.
If enough talented professionals decide to head north and
join these graduates then we will start to see what economists term
'agglomeration benefits'. Cities like Manchester will start to
strengthen their own pull on jobseekers and reduce the imperious
pull London has on the rest of the country.
So it's clear that the North West is
full of opportunity and this region has a very promising future.
With the right influx of talent Manchester has the capability of
creating its own smaller, friendlier, ingratiating bubble with a
force big enough to rival the imperious pull of London.