Cardiff has everything you would expect from a capital at a fraction of the cost of cities such as London. The cost of labour is significantly lower without any compromise on quality. Cardiff has the lowest average gross salary compared to all the English Core Cities and the average salary in London is almost 40% higher than the average for Cardiff.
When you compare the top rental value for grade An office space it makes excellent business sense – Cardiff’s office market is in a prime position to attract global occupiers according to a report by international property adviser DTZ.
In the firm’s latest research on office occupancy costs across the world, Cardiff is ranked the lowest in Western Europe (the research’s occupancy costs take account of rent, running costs, property taxes, fit-out costs and leasing incentives).
An analysis of the cost savings companies can achieve by relocating from London to regional UK cities concluded that Cardiff provides the best value, with cost savings in excess of 40% over 10 years.
Cardiff is also known as an affordable capital city for students who can benefit from some of the lowest rents in the UK. In a survey conducted by the Virgin Alternative Guide to Universities, Cardiff was ranked as being the most affordable of the old University cities. Recent research by the Royal Bank of Scotland also identified Cardiff as one of the most cost-effective places in the UK to go to university. According to the annual survey of more than 2,500 students in 26 university towns across the UK, the city combines low living costs with high weekly earnings from part-time work.
Housing prices, in general, are competitive and the average house price for Cardiff is below that of London, Reading and Bristol.
Cardiff is a progressive city which has at its core impressive economic growth and physical transformation. The city has experienced spectacular economic growth over the last 10 years and was recently ranked 4th for growth potential in the UK [Experian, 2007].
Cardiff now boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and the highest growth in private sector employment over the last 10 years of all UK Core Cities. The UK Competitiveness Index 2010 ranked Cardiff strongly overall, being one of only four larger cities achieving a level of competitiveness above the UK average.
In the early 1900s, Cardiff controlled the global market for coal, its docks were the world’s largest exporter and the city’s Coal Exchange set the world price. In recent times, Cardiff’s economy has become more diverse but remains equally ambitious. Heavy industry has given way to a transformed economy, with dynamic knowledge-driven sectors competing effectively at the highest level.
The city boasts an above average number of people employed in knowledge-based sectors with the greatest opportunities for growth in Financial & Professional Services, Creative Industries, and Life Sciences. 25% of Cardiff’s workforce is employed in the Financial & Professional services sector; it has a cluster of around 100 Life Sciences related companies and is home to the largest concentration of media employment outside of London.
Cardiff is the economic driver for a city-region of 1.4 million people, with a pool of 14 million people within a two-hour drive time. It has one of the best student retention rates in the UK, reflecting the city’s high-quality employment offer and outstanding quality of life.
Located on the M4 corridor, and within easy reach of London, Cardiff attractsa highly skilled workforce at favorable costs compared to London and its immediate surroundings. Excellent local transport links enable over a third of Cardiff’s labor pool to travel into the city each day from neighboring cities and towns.
A cosmopolitan city, its large student population, and strong cultural heritage bring a unique blend of vibrancy and diversity that inspires creativity. Technology and knowledge-intensive industries now employ around 47,500 people in the city supported by the world-class research at the city-regions universities.
The available labour pool is highly skilled and has a skill rating that is above the national average with 40% of Cardiff’s workforce qualified to degree or degree level equivalent.
Productivity is a key factor – the total economic output of Cardiff per jobfilled is above the UK average and loyalty also ranks highly.
Training support is excellently supported by the Welsh Government who has a network of qualified and quality-audited training advisors who offer a free diagnostic service and free training advice. A company can quality for further assistance on their advice.
The take-up of modern apprenticeships in Wales is double that in England and in support of this the Welsh Government offers a number of initiatives to encourage employers to recruit more apprentices. One of the most popular is the Young Recruits Programme. This is an all Wales programme that provides funding to employers offering high quality apprenticeship programmes who recruit and train additional young apprentices (16-24 yrs old).