CAPITAL RETAINS PULLING POWER
For hundreds of years, people have been drawn to London and the South East to find work and make money. It is fair to say that of all the British regions it has been able to offer the widest economic opportunities to people from the UK and abroad for the longest period of time.
Social work, often so strong in the capital, has been through tough times over the past decade, but in recent years has shown signs of recovery thanks largely to improvements in pay and conditions for the workforce. Vacancy and turnover rates continue to be high but the rewards and career progression opportunities have never been better.
Of course, despite its concentration of wealth, London and the South East still have some pockets of deprivation and the need for social workers and caring professionals remains high. Flagship developments, such as the regeneration of East London as a result of the successful 2012 Olympic bid and the building of hundreds of thousands of new homes in the Thames gateway over the next 10 years, will only serve to increase that need.
But as ever with these opportunities comes innovation, whether it be developing culturally sensitive services in Tower Hamlets or joining up mental health services in Sussex.
This inward migration of people and cultures has played a major part in shaping London throughout its history and is still evident today in every part of London life, from its restaurant scene to market stalls.
This variety and vibrancy is now a major pulling power for young people from across the UK to the capital as is the quality of life and green spaces of the south east counties for families and those after a slower pace.