Jobs in Bristol: Working in the "capital of the South West"

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Jobs in Bristol: Working in the "capital of the South West"

Bristol - the capital of the South West - is a trendy, vibrant, green city with an industrial past and an exciting future. It offers many job opportunities in the public sector, from the NHS to the City Council.

Other employers include its world-famous University and a multitude of smaller employers, from independent cafes to companies in the green sector.

In this article, we explore what it's like to live in Bristol and what kinds of jobs in Bristol you could apply for.

'Jobs in Bristol are offered by the NHS, City Council, the University and many small employers across a range of industries'

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What is it like in Bristol?

Old boat in Bristol harbour

Bristol is often known as the “capital of the South West”. It is located on the Avon gorge near the River Severn. Over the last few decades, employment has shifted from shipping and heavy industry to financial services, public relations and TV. It is also home to a world-renowned, Russell Group university, while the NHS and City Council as also larger suppliers of jobs.

It is famed for being an environmentally friendly place to live, winning the Green Capital of Europe title in 2015. Parts of the city have a distinctly hipster vibe – with Gloucester Road housing trendy coffee shops and other independent outlets. Other parts of town, such as Clifton, are marked by statelier Georgian architecture and the city is also home to a vibrant waterfront on the River Severn.

On the other hand, it can be costly – with research by Halifax finding that it is the least affordable city in the region. Rent rivals London, although the cost-of-living is lower. Public transport is not always straightfoward, although you can get pretty much anywhere within the main city by bus if you need to. There is, however, no underground or tram network.

For lovers of the outdoors, Bristol is located close to Somerset and South Gloucestershire and isn’t far from Wales, Devon and Cornwall.

This video from University of Bristol's student union gives you an idea of what it's like living in the city (just bear in mind it is made for students who have just started at the university):

What are Bristol’s main industries?

The three biggest industries in Bristol are:

Human health and social work activities: The NHS is a big employer as is the City Council, providing jobs in healthcare, social work and social care. Around 42,000 people are employed in this field – that is nearly 16% of the workforce, considerably more than the country as a whole.

Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles: This wide-ranging industry is the second largest source of work in the area, employing 37,000 people. However, it is a smaller proportion of the workforce than in the country as a whole, at 13.8% instead of 15.2%.

Professional, scientific and technical activities: This industry is much larger in Bristol than in the rest of the UK, employing 11.2% of the workforce instead of 8.7% (a difference of 2.5 percentage points).

Other locally important industries which employ a larger percentage of the workforce than in the nation as a whole include:

  • Information and communication: 15,000 workers, 5.6% of the workforce compared with 4.2% nationally.
  • Financial and insurance activities: 15,000 workers, 5.6% of the workforce compared with 3.5% nationally.

According to the City Council, in 2018 the Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector provided about 14,000 jobs in Bristol.

Who are Bristol’s biggest employers?

Bristol Royal Infirmary

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is one of

Bristol's biggest employers

The city’s biggest employers providing jobs in Bristol include:

Bristol City Council: Employs around 6,200 staff. As a unitary authority, it is responsible for the full range of council services in the city, from housing and social care to planning and bin collections.

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust: The hospital trust has about 8,500 employees working across its services. The trust is responsible for Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol Eye Hospital and various smaller hospitals.

Lloyd TSB Group: Lloyds Banking Group employs around 2,500 people at their main office on Harbourside.

Other large employers include:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Avon Fire and Rescue Service
  • City of Bristol College
  • Computershare Investor Services
  • Network Rail

Find out more about jobs in Bristol

Use these jobs boars to find out more about jobs in Bristol:

Bristol Jobs

Bristol City Council jobs

NHS jobs in Bristol

Lloyds Banking Groups jobs in Bristol

You can find out about what it’s like working in cities across the UK by checking out our Finding a Job pages.

Images: Bristol Royal Infirmary image from Wikimedia Commons


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