I recently attended a client meeting with the Director of a Stoke based company that have been successfully operating in the local area for over 100 years!
Both being Stokies born and bred, we soon got chatting about all things ‘Stoke’ and despite the bad wrap it seems to get, what great career opportunities the City has given us.
For those that don’t know, Stoke-on-Trent (also known as the Potteries or God’s country) is a city in Staffordshire that’s made up made up of six towns; Stoke, Burslem, Tunstall, Longton, Fenton and Hanley (which we call the City Centre) - and it’s famous for a few things:
Its football teams: Stoke City (the Potters) and Port Vale (Robbie Williams’ Team).
Culinary delights such as Oatcakes (possibly the finest food known to man) and Lobby.
The correct form of pronunciation: Coo-ook, not Cuck and Boo-ook, not Buck.
Its own dictionary: Have you ever felt mithered because you sneaped someone?
Its own language: "Cost kick a bo againt a wo an' then 'it it wi' thi yed till it bosses?" translated as: "Can you kick a ball against a wall and then hit it with your head until it bursts?"
So, you now know a little bit about Stoke, but what employment opportunities does the city have?!
Stoke on Trent is the home of the pottery industry in the UK and is often referred to as “The Potteries”, with its residents being dubbed as “Clay Heads”.
Companies such as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Churchill China and Dudsons, to name a few, were all established and based in the City.
The industry has shown a real resurgence in the last couple of years and many companies have returned overseas production to the city, creating opportunities for skilled and entry level employment in the area.
Relatively new players to the market, such as Emma Bridgewater have introduced a new lease of life into the industry and the success of TV series, the Great Pottery Throwdown, filmed in Burslem’s Middleport Pottery Museum has really put the industry back on the map.
Major telecoms providers, numerous Insurance companies and the Cities biggest employer of 2017, online gambling giant bet365 all have Head offices in the City.
At these companies, you’ll find all expected office functions, from Marketing to Finance as well as busy contact centres made up of Sales and Customer service departments.
Entry level roles at these large and medium size organisations can provide amazing opportunities to prove yourself within a variety of commercial environments, and if you’re ambitious and hungry to succeed, progressions can be quickly achieved.
Major Retailers such as TK Maxx, Amazon, New Look, B&Q and Dunelm all have large scale warehouses and distribution Centres in the City. The Lymedale Business Park based in the neighbouring borough of Newcastle Under Lyme is often referred to as the Las Vegas of the warehouse world.
These employers are always on the lookout for hardworking, reliable individuals and are often willing to give opportunities to those with little or no previous experience. Many of the employers offer continental shift patterns, so accessibility to these sites via public transport for the early morning shifts can sometimes be a challenge, so if you don’t drive, make sure you check your local bus routes.
Stoke on Trent has two main retail areas: Hanley (the city centre), which is home to Intu Potteries, the largest shopping centre in Staffordshire, and Festival Park, which is the City’s largest retail park.
At these locations, you’ll find a presence from all major retailers, restaurants and eateries, as well as leisure facilities including cinemas, bowling alleys and pubs and bars. So, whether you’re looking for a temporary part time role, the first step within your career or a you’re an accomplished professional looking for a more senior role, there is plenty to offer for all.
As I mentioned at the start of the post, I’m a Stokie born and bred and I’m happy to say, that for the first time in a long while our economy seems to be on the rise. A combination of educational and business investments, transport connectivity improvements and increased job opportunities in the city have seen Stoke-on-Trent out-perform many parts of the UK over the last 18 months.
I’m thankful for the opportunities that the City has given me and I’m now lucky enough to work in a role where I can pass on my knowledge and support others in the local area, whether that be businesses looking to find their next star employee or residents looking to make their next career move.
If you’d like to hear more about working in this fine City, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.