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The advantages of working in Oxford – why this city has much to offer Candidates

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

When most people think of Oxford, they think of the University of Oxford, The Ashmolean Museum and shopping in Cornmarket Street. This picturesque place is a tourism hotspot, attracting 7 million day time and staying visitors per year, but have you considered what it’s like to work here? At Allen Associates, we’ve been doing business in this fantastic city for over 20 years, connecting talented applicants with thriving, growing companies, so we’re avid champions of the benefits you’ll find as a Candidate choosing this location.

There are many opportunities within Oxford’s thriving economy. It’s unsurprising, given the presence of two large universities, that 71 per cent of jobs are in knowledge-intensive industries – those that require Candidates with high level skills who hold a degree or an equivalent qualification. As well as those employed in the education and public sectors, the city is home to a large number of people working in science and research, publishing and  tourism. There’s also a growing hi-tech and digital sector. With roughly 4,730 businesses employing 118,000 people, it’s clear that there is huge potential for jobseekers here. When applying for roles, Candidates have a wide variety of businesses to choose from.

Oxford is home to some big names, with global organisations such as Oxfam, BMW MINI, Unipart, and Amey PLC all choosing to base themselves here. But if you prefer working for a small business, figures show that start-ups do well in the city. South Oxfordshire has one of the highest five-year survival rates for small and medium sized businesses in the UK – perhaps because of organisations like the Oxford University Innovation Start-up Incubator, which crucially, offer extra support.

It’s no secret that the UK is facing a skills shortage, leading to a Candidate-driven market where highly skilled applicants have the luxury of choosing from a number of jobs offers. Oxford is no different in this respect. In fact, unemployment here is below the national average. Statistics show there are 96 jobs available for every 100 residents of working age in the county, and this battle for talent has led to a rise in wages. Within the county, the average annual pay is high, at £27,793 – and this has increased by nearly 14 per cent since 2012. All this means that if you choose to live here, you’ll have no shortage of opportunities when it comes to employment.

But it’s not just about time spent in the office, Employees in Oxford can enjoy a great work-life balance, with plenty of pubs, music venues and parks to explore. With 38 university colleges, and some stunning architecture, the city has been turned into a movie set many a time – it’s a great place for a stroll, and if you enjoy the countryside, you’ll find the Cotswolds right on your doorstep. Shoppers have plenty of choice at the new Westgate Shopping centre, with over 100 retailers and restaurants available, and if you’re looking for something different, there’s easy access on the train to London.

Not only this, but by working in Oxford, you’ll have access to a great community of businesses. It’s something that’s really important to us at Allen Associates, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of events like the OX5 Run – supporting our local hospital charity as a sponsor for the last ten years.

When it comes to growth, Oxford ranks as one of the two highest performing cities in a recent survey from PwC, reflecting continuing improvements in areas such as transport, health and income. You don’t have to look far to see progress, whether it’s world-class research taking place at sites like Harwell Campus, Culham Science Centre and Milton Park, or digital success stories such as Vicon, Sophos and Nominet. For us, it continues to be an exciting time, as we work alongside Clients big and small to help them achieve growth by securing the right people to carry their vision forwards.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 we opened our first London office, to service Clients and Candidates in the capital.

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