Streets Paved with Gold

I have been recruiting for a range of environmental and engineering specialists across Scotland, the North of England and Ireland for over 5 years' now. While most job applicants are located within commuting distance of our clients, I occasionally receive applications from candidates from further afield who are looking to relocate. Over the years I have witnessed a clear trend in UK labour migration patterns and it is definitely a case of all roads lead to London!

Number-in-30s-leaving-capitalIt is not hard to see why. London has a wealth of job opportunities for experienced professionals and is the centre of commerce, culture, arts, tourism and (to many of my London friends) The Universe! Some "northerners" like Alan Partidge have a different view on things though!

While London is definitely a city of opportunity, migrants to the city have to contend with eye-watering house and rental prices, as well as inflated travel and general living/ partying costs. There is no doubt salaries offered are higher but it is dubious as to whether the "London-weighting" compensates for the additional costs of being based in the capital."Samuel Johnson might have suggested being tired of London meant being tired of life, but he probably hadn't had to endure astronomical house prices or daily elbow wars on the Tube."


The Exodus North

Interestingly, in more recent times, I have been seeing an increasing number of candidates approach me looking to relocate from London to other more northerly UK destinations. This is supported a recent analysis by Savills showing that that difference between the number of people leaving and arriving in the capital (net departures) has increased by over 80% in the last 5 years.

Many head to the likes of Brighton, Birmingham and Bristol but also to the cooler climes of Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

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Scotland's Revival

Scotland is one of the few places to see more people arriving from other parts of the UK than are leaving, with Edinburgh and the Highlands attracting the majority of migrants. I don't work for the tourist industry but here are some possible reasons why...

Scotland was recently voted the world's most beautiful country by Rough Guide.

If you can put up with the slightly unpredictable and occasionally downright unpleasant weather conditions then Scotland has so many stunning places to visit such as Isle of Skye, Glencoe and Loch Lomond

Scotland is not a bit country so even if you live in the centre of a major city, you are only a hop skip and jump from fresh air and beautiful countryside. I live in Glasgow, in 30 minutes I can be on the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond or the Ayrshire Coast and in 2 hours I could be hillwalking or skiing in dramatic Glencoe.

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Scottish People (and Northern Irish) enjoy highest life satisfaction (so the stats say)

According to the Office of for National Statistics, the most satisfied places in the UK are in Northern Ireland and Scotland. What the statistics don't tell you is what is driving these satisfaction ratings? It certainly isn't down to the weather or indeed our National Football team!

Aside from the smugness generated by being voted the world's most beautiful county (above), this life satisfaction could be down to the fact the cost of living in many parts of Scotland is substantially lower than other parts of the UK. This means that it is possible to find good accommodation and lead a good quality of life on a relatively low income.

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 Scotland is still building stuff

Scotland may be small in size and population but we have a number of nationally significant infrastructure projects at various stages of completion including the A9 Dualling, Perth to Inverness, the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, as well as major schools, university campuses and healthcare facilities such as The new Forth Valley College Falkirk Campus and NHS Orkney's New Hospital and Healthcare Facilities. Last month saw the official opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the world's longest three-span cable-stayed bridge, the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth, costing £1.35bn 


GavinI joined the Glasgow office of the Mattinson Partnership in October 2012. I now have over 5 years' experience recruiting environmental, engineering and planning specialists across Scotland, the North of England and Ireland.

Prior to joining Mattinson Partnership, I worked within engineering consultancy providing specialist transport advice to local authorities, private developers, regional and national transport agencies across the UK. I was with Atkins for 5 years and gained extensive development planning experience, securing planning consent for retail, residential and commercial developments across Scotland. I have worked with a range of specialists in previous roles including transport planners, highways engineers, landscape architects, ecologists, EIA consultants and town planners which has helped me to better understand the needs of our candidates and clients operating in these sectors.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Bristol and am passionate about geography and the environment. I'm a dab hand on the capital cities round in the pub quiz but pretty useless on just about everything else! I'm sports daft and play football (which is daft at my age!), squash for Newlands LTC, as well as the odd game of golf (!) at my second home Prestwick GC in Ayrshire.

Give Gavin a call on 0141 375 7955 or at



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