Working in Birmingham & Solihull

Use this information to expand your knowledge of Birmingham & Solihull.

As opportunities rise again, consider working further afield from where you live. The region is a well-connected and exciting place to live and work!

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Information on Birmingham and Solihull

Birmingham

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK. It’s also the youngest city in Europe with also most 40% of the population aged under 25. You can get to 90 percent of the UK from Birmingham in under four hours.

It is home to HS2 headquarters and has the largest regional financial and professional services hub in the UK.

A computer games workforce is also growing as well as start-up hubs providing support for new businesses and social enterprises. 

Brindleyplace, Centenary Square & Paradise redevelopment

Brindleyplace, a walkable distance from Birmingham New Street, Moor Street and Snowhill stations, houses a variety of business, professional and financial services, with some of the biggest banks. Businesses in this area include: 

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • NatWest
  • PwC
  • HSBC
  • The Goldman Sachs Group (New Office)

Alpha Tower - A multi-office space formally the location of ATV, which now houses a variety of companies such as Entec Si (IT consultants), Click Travel (corporate travel management), Glide (utilities), Marks and Clerk (legal), Kainos (technology) and co-working space Alpha Works where start-ups and project teams can grow into established businesses.

Colmore Business District

The Colmore Business District near Snowhill train station is the heart of Birmingham’s business, professional and financial services sector. Being in close proximity to the Birmingham Crown Courts, many legal firms and chambers are based in this area e.g.: 

  • Anthony Collins Solicitors
  • Cornwall Street Chambers
  • Linklaters
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Pinsent Masons 

Consultancy organisations include KPMG, housing their largest office outside of London at One Snow Hill, amongst other medium and smaller size firms, catering for a variety of businesses across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Wesleyan, a financial consultancy firm, is nearby and housed in their iconic building on the Colmore Circus.

Digbeth

Also known as the Creative Quarter, Digbeth is a hub of expression and experimentation. Once being an important part of Birmingham’s industrial era, and the home to Bird’s Custard factory, Digbeth has been transformed by a 25 year project concluding in 2017 into a new home for Digital and Creative sector agencies in media, publishing, marketing, design and more. 

Many charities and social enterprises also based themselves in Digbeth, working towards social good projects. The Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC) in Digbeth is also a good source of information for those interested in volunteering or working for the third sector in the future. I-Se is a third sector support organisation that offers free online support for anyone interested in starting a social business – including students!  Interns are often wanted here to assist with events and marketing. 

Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter is historically Europe’s centre for the jewellery trade and home to one of four Assay Offices in the UK, ensuring the quality of the products from this distract and further afield. 

The Newhall Street site has been converted into a multi-office space and creative hub for new businesses including Green Room Design (creative agency), Bluetel Solutions (technology agency), Central RSA Academies Trust (education), Emerald Technology (recruitment). 

The quarter is also gaining a reputation for its growing number of Technology and Digital sector companies and hosting a number of events by technology community, Silicon Canal.

One of the largest food and drink leaders in the UK, Mitchell and Butlers is also based in the Jewellery Quarter, close to heritage attraction Coffin Works. The site of Coffin Works doubles as office space for marketing agencies, heritage, and charity organisations.

City Centre, Edgbaston and Bartley Green

Within the education sector, the University of Birmingham, Aston University, Birmingham City University, Newman University and University College Birmingham are located across the City along with primary and secondary schools, employing graduates into both teaching and non-teaching roles.

For professional services and management roles, University of Birmingham runs its own graduate training scheme.

Edgbaston is also the centre of Birmingham’s life sciences sector, with the Edgbaston Medical Quarter covering Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Institute of Translational Medicine, BioHub just outside of campus and the Medical School.

With Birmingham already being a leader in clinical trials and medical research, the Birmingham Life Sciences Park is currently under construction on the Battery Park site in Selly Oak, looking to open in 2022 to become a hub for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and researchers.

A short train ride away from Stratford-Upon-Avon, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company for opportunities in the Arts.

Solihull

Solihull is a large town in the West Midlands. Solihull is situated 7.5 miles southeast of Birmingham. It is home to a number of industrial estates and business centres, as well as a busy high street including Touchwood Shopping Centre.

Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham Business Park offer potential opportunities in the transport, retail, and aerospace sectors. Resorts World offers opportunities in the retail, and food and drink industry.

Birmingham Business Park, which is 'the most established out-of-town office park in the Midlands' and is home to 116 companies and is the European and UK office headquarters for over 20 organisations including an impressive range of high-profile occupiers, including

  • Rolls Royce (automotive and aerospace)
  • Fujitsu (technology)
  • BT (technology)
  • Changan
  • IMI (automotive).

Solihull is also the home to Jaguar Land Rover and Beiersdorf (Nivea and Elastoplast brands!), and large advertising agency McCann Birmingham is based here, as well as smaller agencies, located out of town within the business parks.

A short train ride away from Stratford-Upon-Avon, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company for opportunities in the Arts.

Fast growing sportswear brand, Gymshark are headquartered in Solihull, which in 2017 was featured in a countdown of the nation's top small companies with the fastest-growing international sales and was also named Britain's fastest-growing private enterprise.

The Gymshark office space has an on-site cinema, yoga studios and treatment rooms as well as a Gymshark logo that can be seen from Google Earth. Gymshark hire for a number of graduate roles including marketing and business roles.

Birmingham and Solihull sector strengths

  • Automotive
  • Business, Professional and Financial Services
  • Health and Life Sciences, particularly medtech

(Source: Midlands Engine independent Economic Review, Feb 2020)

Other key sectors can be found on the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP) website with more detailed information: GBSLEP Growth Sectors.

In the West Midlands, there are key sectors that are driving the region’s growth (now and in the future) leading to higher wage graduate jobs. Our diverse economy is a key strength. Find out about these growing sectors to broaden your career options. The West Midlands is home to leaders in finance, life sciences, digital, automotive and aerospace  - and more. Visit the West Midlands Growth Company website for more info.

How to use this information

Make a speculative application

Sometimes jobs are created based on who you know, and making a speculative application for work experience or a job is positive move, rather than waiting for the right job to come along. It offers a way of getting an entry through the door and getting noticed. 

Research companies in the area

Online search engines provide a quick way to search for employers, particularly to make speculative applications and searching companies to find specific jobs you’re interested in. 

  • If you can’t find the graduate job or work experience you want and know what you enjoy, strengths you possess, and skills you can contribute to an organisation, approach them by email with a speculative letter and CV.  Tips on speculative applications can be found on the speculative application preparation page.
  • Organisations located in the West Midlands region are listed on various sites to research, e.g. Best Companies; and Glassdoor.
  • Use LinkedIn to find, follow and research companies.
  • Access the FAME database to research businesses via findit@bham.
  • Industry journals advertising permanent vacancies provide a great insight into employers working in a sector and how to get in touch.
  • Read local newspapers and find out which companies are winning awards.
  • Industry professional bodies often provide details of organisations working in a particular field/sector.
  • Lecturers and other contacts may be able to give advice and contact details of local companies they collaborate with and individuals.
  • Facebook can also be useful in finding out more about an organisation.

Useful links to find work in Birmingham & Solihull

Using Careers Connect to find job opportunities

For current students

Log into Careers Connect to find work, accessing West Midlands graduate jobs as well as internships and work experience opportunities not just in the UK, but nationally and internationally.

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Introduction to Careers Connect video transcript

For alumni

If you are a University of Birmingham graduate, you will need register for a graduate account. More information can be found on the graduate introduction to Careers Connect page

Other West Midlands regional information

Colleges

Professional Services