Shared Vision: Training & Career Development in Bedford
The Current Job Market and Employment Opportunities in Bedford
Bedford is the seat of the Borough of Bedford, which also includes the neighbouring towns of Kempston, Elstow, Biddenham, and several villages. Located in the East of England, Bedford Borough has a workforce of approximately 82,800 according to the Office for National Statistics. This number is expected to grow by at least 9% by 2020.
Sectors with a significant presence in Bedford include electronics, automotive and advanced engineering, food and drink, and creative and environmental. There is also a strong participation in the low carbon, finance, business services, automotive and advanced manufacturing, ICT, and health and biotechnology sectors. Many of the borough's top employers are found in the distribution, service, and manufacturing sectors. Major private sector employers include ADSA (distribution), Movianto (pharmaceutical logistics), and Unilever (research and development). These three companies each employ over 800 people in Bedford. Bedford is also the site of several corporate headquarters, including Wells & Young (brewing and pub retailing), Bedfordia Group (agriculture, automotive, eco-technology, and property), and Accenture (financial). The Highways Agency is also headquartered in Bedford and employs 320 people in the area.
With its central location between Oxford and Cambridge, Bedford is emerging as an important centre for research and development. With its close proximity to universities, colleges, and research institutes, the borough is also attracting new businesses in emerging high-tech and knowledge-based sectors. To support this growing segment of Bedford's economy, new developments are being created. For example, the Colworth Science Park will provide laboratory and office space for research and development businesses and academics, while the Bedford Station Quarter will offer 350,000 square feet of new office and retail space.
Professional Career Development in Bedford
Bedfordshire is home to more than half of the United Kingdom's universities. The county is also home to 60% of the country's research and development. The town of Bedford is located within an hour's driver of some of the United Kingdom's leading universities, including the University of Cambridge and the University of Northampton. The borough itself is also the home of several institutions of higher and further education.
The Bedford Campus of the University of Bedfordshire offers programmes in primary, secondary and post-compulsory education, physical education, sport and exercise studies, and tourism and leisure. The university's main campus is located in Luton, where students can undertake study in art and design, business, computing, law, media, psychology, science, and social sciences. The University of Bedfordshire also delivers health, nursing, and midwifery programmes at Butterfield Park in North Luton.
Bedford College provides further education programmes in a range of disciplines. Considered one of the best further education colleges by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the college delivers a variety of academic and vocational qualifications, as well as professional and trades apprenticeships and foundation education programmes. Courses are available in a range of disciplines, from construction and building services to travel and tourism, business and professional studies to art and design. The college's Enterprise House and Learning Centre also offers adult education courses, including IT and business skills courses. Bedford College Training Services delivers several professional and skills development courses to local businesses. Bedford College also operates Shuttleworth College, which offers training and education programmes in primarily agriculture and the natural environment.
A range of postgraduate programmes are delivered at Cranfield University. The university features strong schools in applied sciences, defence and security, engineering, health, and management. Major areas of study include aerospace, automotive, energy, environment, healthcare, manufacturing, and security and defence. The Cranfield University Technology Park is home to several multinational corporations and start-up businesses, including Nissan, Invar Systems, and Trafficmaster. The Cranfield University Business Incubation Centre also provides supports for high-tech and knowledge-based businesses during formative stages of their development. The university also hosts a range of conferences and events throughout the year in engineering, defence and security, science, and management.
Further Considerations: Although not all positions require you to be able to drive, having a drivers license is an advantage, especially if you have no points taken off. If you have undergone advanced driver training that is an even greater advantage. Even if the location you would like to work at is near public transport there may be times when travel to less easily accessible locations is required such as visiting potential clients or company meetings. Being able to drive improves your prospects and makes you more versatile than a candidate who doesn't drive. More information on learning to drive and advanced driving lessons can be found on this site.
Recommended by Prime Office Space, the commercial property partner for Shared Vision: Training & Career Development in Bedford.