Shared Vision: Training & Career Development in Cambridge
The Current Job Market and Employment Opportunities in Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is one of the United Kingdom's most renowned urban centres. Its prestigious university attracts students with high intellectual potential from all over the world, some of which choose to stay in the city in order to take advantage of the employment opportunities on offer, or to create new business opportunities.
Since Saxon times, Cambridge has been a key trading centre, which grew in importance mainly due to its location on the banks of the River Cam. The city has gone from being an agricultural town to becoming an important city with a diversified economy and an international profile. Nowadays, thanks to its strategic location at the crossroads of the M11 and the A14, and to the excellent rail and public transportation links with London and the Midlands, Cambridge is home to a large number of national and international firms that have chosen the city as their base. In addition to the University, Cambridge's largest employers are the local city council, Addenbrooke's NHS Hospital, Marshall's Aerospace, Microsoft, and a number of IT companies like ARM and Jagex.
The sectors that contribute the most to the local economy are research and development, education, telecommunications, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and aerospace. Tourism also plays an important role in the local job market, as it generates income in excess of £351 million per year and provides employment for more than 6,500 people. Cambridge's employment rate is above the UK average, standing at 72.7 per cent.
Professional career development in Cambridge
Cambridge has two centres that provide top quality higher education: the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University. These institutions place high importance on business, career, and professional development, and therefore have dedicated research facilities that regularly organise conferences, workshops, and seminars. The Centre for Business Research (based at the University of Cambridge) specialises in organising events that deal in depth with the concepts of innovation, competitiveness, and sustainable growth in business. Other centres that offer training and information on the best business practices include the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and the Centre for Business and Public Sector Ethics. The latter offers e-learning courses in addition to annual seminars and conferences.
There are also strong links between Cambridge University and a number of important business parks, which constitute the so-called "Silicon Fen". These business parks mainly host businesses in the fields of biotechnology, software, and electronics. An example of this is Cambridge Science Park (created by Trinity College), which offers support to entrepreneurs in the biomedical, financial, environmental, energy, and telecommunications sectors.
As in other British cities, there are a number of government-sponsored training schemes available in Cambridge. Apprenticeships are available to youngsters between the ages of 16 and 24 who want to earn a recognised qualification while they obtain valuable hands-on experience. For more information on the roles available, you can request details from the Cambridge Regional College, which is one of the largest career development centres in the east of England.
There certainly is no shortage of enterprise and networking groups in the Cambridge area. A survey carried out in 2011 compiled a list of 47 local networking organisations. Some of these organisations include the Cambridge Network, an established institution that runs training courses, meetings, and networking events, and other specialised organisations, such as the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce, the Cambridge Hitech Association, the Cambridge Enterprise and Technology Club, the Junior Chamber Cambridge, CUTEC, and the Cambridge Businesswomen's Network, to mention just a few. In addition, Cambridge is home to a number of local chapters of national networking organisations, like the Business Leaders Network and Business for Breakfast.
You'll find more information about business training companies and services on Actual Cambridge.
Further Considerations: Investing in learning to drive is a good use of both time and money as it opens up many more opportunities. Not only does it increase the type of positions you can apply for, it also broadens your options as regards the location you can work in. If you can drive to work you won't be restricted to only those positions that are close to public transport. If you have a clean license and have taken some form of Advanced Driver Training you are putting yourself at an even greater advantage when it comes to securing a position.
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