Living in the region
The workforce in the South West has levels of education
above the national average in terms of academic qualifications from higher
education. The South West Regional Development Agency has set up skills and
learning teams for each sub-region to address the specific labour market
The South West has airports at Bristol,
Plymouth and Newquay,
with flights to domestic and European destinations. The road network comprises
the M4 which runs East to West, and the M5 which runs North
to South. London and the Channel
Tunnel can also be reached by road. The railways connect with London
and the Continent. There are many commercial ports, most notably Bristol.
More than one-third of the region has National Park status,
or is listed as an area of outstanding natural beauty with a diverse range of
wildlife. The South West is one of the leading areas in Europe
for water sports, with the World Surfing Championships held in Newquay, Cornwall.
Music lovers flock to Glastonbury,
while theatre-goers have the Bristol Old Vic.
According to figures from the Land Registry, the overall
average price of a house in the South West is £179,030. A detached property in
the region will cost you £266,052, while a semi-detached will set you back by
around £160,563. Terraced houses are currently said to be worth £139,307 and
you could expect to pay £133,294 for a flat or maisonette.
HR contacts and local
Various CIPD branches
Business and tourism
The South West
Regional Development Agency
Jan Golding is a regional HR
manager at Macdonald Hotels with responsibility for 1,100 staff across the whole
region. She moved back to Exeter
after seven years away and says the quality of life was a key factor.
"Living down here is fantastic," she says. "I
live in Exeter city centre, which
has a great quayside full of bars, cafes and vibrant living. There’s a
beautiful cathedral and a good range of boutiques and independent shops."
This is complemented by beautiful countryside and coastline,
but Golding says the HR scene is equally as vibrant.
"The service sector and the public sector dominate
employment opportunities, with the county council by far the largest employer
in Devon. Hospitality and tourism are huge for us and we
have the usual problems associated with these industries, such as attracting
and retaining good staff.
"There are some excellent academic institutions, and Exeter
University is a large employer
renowned for its work-life balance," Golding
"Senior HR jobs outside of the public sector are rare,
but other areas to look would be Swindon, Bristol,
and Yeovil. There are few head offices, so the large companies tend to cover
the South West by having a regional HR manager based here.
"Most of the jobs advertised are for HR administrators
or officers. However, the advancement opportunities are significantly less than
they are in other, bigger cities," she says.
Move here for…
– The weather: milder, drier and better all round than most other regions
– 621 miles of coast: some of the finest beaches and water
sports in the UK
– Low crime: the South West has the country’s third-lowest
But beware of…
– The retired masses: parts of the region have an elderly
– Being too remote: some areas are very isolated
– Housing shortages: a large mismatch between population and
housing is forecast