Employment In London: An Overview

London is one of the few great centres of trade and finance. More than a 100 different nations are represented and more than 300 languages are spoken. There are currently nearly 20,000 overseas- parented companies operating in the capital.

Over the past few decades there has been a shift away from manufacturing towards service industries. Today, London’s job market is dominated by financial and business services (40% of the total), followed by other service industries such as education, social work and health (15%); distribution, hotels and catering (15%); transport, storage and communications (10%); and public administration and defense (5%).

Average earnings in London have always been significantly higher than UK average, although the cost of living is also higher.


In theory, any qualifications recognised by professional and trade bodies and all academic qualifications obtained in one EU country are recognised in the UK.

NARIC ( is the official body for recognising parity of overseas qualifications with the UK. Professional qualifications are often necessary to work in many fields in the UK, for example in Accountancy (ACCA Certification), Finance (CIMA and CFA Certifications), Internal Auditing (IIA Diploma), Marketing (CIM Certification) and tourism (OTHM Certification).

Job Search Tips

It is important to tailor your approach to the type of job you are looking for. For example, Executive and senior managers recruitment is handled almost exclusively by consultants, who  interview all applicants before presenting clients with a shortlist. Otherwise manual, seasonal or part-time jobs requiring less experience may be advertised at Jobcentres, in Newspapers and directly in shop windows.

If you are planning a job search consider the following:

  • Private employment agencies and recruitment consultants (Head hunters), often specialised in particular fields
  • Internet jobs websites, such as Monster, Reed, Gumtree, etc are important resources for both job hunters and employers.
  • Newspaper websites
  • Jobs and careers fairs
  • Jobcentres, which are agencies of the Department for Work and Pensions of the government of Britain. The agencies provide services primarily to those are looking for a job, and to those are requiring the issuing of a financial provision due to the lack of employment.
  • Applying directly to companies through their websites and obtaining a list of companies operating in a particular field from trade directories.
  • Networking by using Linkedin or Facebook or by attending social events.