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Contracting in Scotland, Oil, Gas and Video Games!

Glasgow and Edinburgh are Scotland’s two largest cities and they are great places to visit, live, work and do business. They are amongst Europe’s most dynamic and modern cities, yet steeped in culture and history. The traditional friendliness and openness of the people ensures that all people who are new to the area are guaranteed a warm welcome.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow region is not only stunningly beautiful, it also has a growing economy and global reputation for cultural excellence. All of which makes it an irresistible place in which to live and work. Only 46 miles apart, or 50 minutes by train, and located in Scotland’s Central Belt, the two cities and their surrounding areas have a combined population of 3.2 million. They also have an established commitment to collaboration, aimed at enabling the two cities to compete more effectively on the world stage. And with countryside and coast in such easy reach, both offer a very high quality of life.

Edinburgh city region is located to the east of Scotland – linked northwards to Fife by the world-famous Forth Bridges and stretching south to the Scottish Borders. As Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and many functions of the Scottish Government. As well as it's proven financial strengths, Edinburgh is Scotland’s primary tourist destination and leading city of science.

Glasgow is located to the west of Scotland on the River Clyde and is the country’s largest city, at the heart of one of the UK’s principal metropolitan areas. Its population is around £1.2m with a large catchment area that provides an easy commute for a further 500,000 people. It was recently voted as sixth in the Top 10 rankings for the Best City to Locate a Business Today, beating Edinburgh by two places!

Aberdeen City and Shire, a land where majestic landscapes meet the sea and the flourishing Granite City boasts beautiful architecture and cultural gems. Aberdeen City and Shire is adored by the Royal Family, and is a region with a maritime heritage which offers lively events and a selection of thrilling activities.

Contract Opportunities? 
Contracting in Scotland throughout September has been on the rise due to the demand from Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry and contractor shortages in Dundee’s video game development centre. Dundee also experienced the sharpest increase in contractor rates during the month, a reflection of the skills shortages in the city.

This is according to the latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs for September 2014, which also shows a slowdown of demand and contractor agency billings in Edinburgh’s financial centre.

Two of the three main contractor centres of excellence in Scotland, oil and gas and video games, are performing strongly. These sectors offer opportunities to contractors throughout the UK, as there are not enough suitably skilled local candidates to meet demand.

The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer, which provides a snapshot of the health of Scotland’s entire labour market, slipped slightly during the month, but is still well into positive territory.

Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae explains: “September’s Barometer showed a continuing rise in the number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs, although at a lower rate than recent highs.
The Barometer is showing almost four years of monthly improvement resulting in the rate of unemployment in September of 5.5%. The Scottish economic recovery continues.

Major industries

  • Finance
  • Tourism
  • Public sector
  • Science and technology

Major companies?

The job market in this area represents a compelling mixture of opportunity and job security, and over the past few years Edinburgh’s employment rates have reached an all-time high, surpassing those of any city in England. Edinburgh is ranked as the largest financial centre in the UK after London, with Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Standard Life all having headquarters in the city.

In addition, Glasgow is a major centre for public administration, financial services, and tourism-related sectors and was rated as the best UK shopping centre outside the West End of London.

At an overall level, the workforce in this region enjoys a reputation at the forefront of various sectors including science and technology, finance, tourism and the arts.

HBOS (now part of Lloyds Banking Group)

This is the holding company for Bank of Scotland plc, which operates the Bank of Scotland and Halifax brands in the UK, as well as HBOS Australia and HBOS Insurance & Investment Group Limited, the group's insurance division. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group having been taken over in January 2009.

HBOS was formed by the 2001 merger of Halifax plc and the Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland, creating a ‘fifth force’ in British banking alongside the Big Four UK retail banks. It is also the UK’s largest mortgage lender. It’s head office is located at The Mound in Edinburgh, the former head office of Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group has stated that the new group will continue to use this as the headquarters for its Scottish operations.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

This is one of the leading financial institutions in the world, employing thousands of people and serving around 40m customers across five continents – with 25m of those in the UK. The Group has three main service areas – insurance, business services and retail banking - and includes some of the UK's best known brands, such as Direct Line, NatWest, Churchill and The One Account.

RBS has its global head office in Edinburgh, along with other offices in London, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. It also has more than 2,000 branches across the UK. There are a wide range of opportunities available and for three years running it has been awarded a place in the ‘Where Women Want to Work’ Top 50.

Heineken UK (formerly Scottish & Newcastle)

Heineken UK is the UK's leading beer and cider business and is an operating company of Heineken N.V. (Netherlands), the world’s most international brewer. It was formed in April 2008 when Heineken NV acquired the UK business of Scottish & Newcastle PLC and it was integrated with Heineken’s existing UK business.

The company employs around 4,000 people and also has around 2,200 pubs throughout the UK.
It's portfolio of brands includes Foster’s, Heineken, Strongbow, Kronenbourg 1664, John Smith’s and Bulmers together with a full range of niche and speciality brands. The company still has a large presence in Edinburgh, with its head office still based at the Broadway Park site in the city.

Standard Life

This is a leading international long term savings and investments company which includes one of the largest life and pension businesses in the UK, with more than 4 million customers. Established in 1825, it provides life assurance and pensions, investment management and healthcare insurance products to over 6.5 million customers worldwide, and has more than 10,000 employees around the world of which 8,500 are based in the UK.

THUS plc (a Cable & Wireless business)

The business now called THUS began life in 1994 as Scottish Telecom, an offshoot of the privatised energy company Scottish Power. In 2002, THUS was demerged from Scottish Power in a deal which effectively wiped out the majority of the company's debts, placing the company on a sound financial footing. The demerger also led to the creation of THUS Group plc, a holding company which owned THUS plc. Cable & Wireless completed a takeover of THUS in October 2008, but its name is still retained. The company is based in Berkeley Square in Glasgow and employs around 1,800 people.

Local newspapers

In Edinburgh, the most popular local paper is the daily Edinburgh Evening News whilst in Glasgow there is The Glaswegian and the Glasgow Evening Times. Both have very active and useful website's. Then of course at a national level there is The Scotsman, which also has a valuable jobs section on its website, and The Herald Scotland.

The team at Transition are always happy to answer any general queries you may have in regards to settling in, reworking your CV, securing a contract or setting up a limited company to reduce your tax liability? We have a number of contractors based throughout Scotland and visit at least twice a year. 

Simply call us on 02030 867 226 or e-mail Alex or Simon


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