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The Thames Valley is widely recognised as a high growth business region

17/02/15

With many businesses opting for space to support expansion. With great rail links to London and easily accessible road networks, there now seems to be a real war for talent across the part qualified market. In particular, Slough is well positioned for those looking to gain large corporate experience, with more affordable housing within easy access.

Did you know that Slough provides c90,000 jobs across c4,500 businesses, giving candidates plenty of choice when it comes to industries. The town also contributes over £7 Billion in turnover, this combined with being voted the 10th most promising area in Europe for Inward Investment, and the location makes a lot of sense for budding Finance Directors!

So why is the part qualified market in particular so buoyant?

Many of our larger clients are incredibly supportive when it comes to internal mobility. Attracting the right talent has always been difficult with London on the doorstep, however with companies such as Mars, O2, AkzoNobel, Reckitt Benckiser, Fiat, LG, Burger King, UCB, Lonza and RIM all based in Slough, it is widely recognised as a world class location for business. Finance teams within these global giants offer tremendous career progression, across core financial accounting, FP&A and business partnering ensuring you build a superb all round skill set. Employees at larger companies tend to rotate every 12-18 months, creating opportunities for those at the junior and part qualified level. With comprehensive packages including generous pension contributions, bonus schemes and private healthcare (on top of competitive salaries), Slough makes an excellent choice for those in terms of financial stability, career progression and industry alignment.

Interestingly, we have also seen a bullish return to trading across the UK SME market and this should be further supported with the new Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill set to become law in the not too distant future. This means that banks will need to match businesses who previously have been turned down for loans with alternative finance providers. Over 250,000 SMEs approach banks unsuccessfully for financial help, to help support expansion, move into new markets or restructure their business. Despite their ambitions, only 6% of those are referred to alternative lenders. With the new Bill passing imminently, funding should be easier for many firms which will no doubt have a knock on effect on building a finance team to ensure the appropriate controls are in place to support this growth and investing in the future.

Overall, its good news all round for those who are looking to build a career in finance. With over 50% of FTSE 100 CEOs holding an accounting qualification, the sky really is the limit!

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