Ambra Recruitment is dedicated to building long-term careers in SURREY and SUSSEX. We help experienced and qualified professionals explore all the job opportunities this region has to offer.
Professional Careers in Surrey and Sussex
Surrey and Sussex’s business economy is thriving. Financial, corporate, legal and B2B industries across the region are thriving, powered by many of the country’s most highly skilled professions.
Major hubs like Brighton & Hove, Crawley, Guildford, Reigate & Redhill and Horsham are home to a wide range of businesses, with opportunities for highly-qualified professionals. Even further into the countryside, smaller businesses, SMEs and even large headquarters can be found all over Surrey and Sussex’s lush landscape.
Combining both career opportunities and exceptional lifestyle benefits, it’s easy to see why Surrey & Sussex attracts professional employees of the highest quality.
1 - The Business Landscape: Gatwick Diamond
Business enterprises registered in Surrey, East and West Sussex
Financial, business and professional services are a dominant presence in the region’s economy with major insurance, consultancy, legal, accountancy and investment firms operating from the region. The result for individuals? Surrey and Sussex offers significantly more ‘top tier’ professional jobs than national average – Surrey in particular, with 12% more of these lucrative specialist roles than the rest of the country.
Alongside numerous large employers, the region is home to thousands of smaller businesses. In fact, Surrey and Sussex is notable for its diversity of niche private companies – a rich, ‘hyper-specialist’ employment landscape that’s difficult to quantify in broad strokes.
Far from being overshadowed by neighbouring London, the region’s proximity to the world’s most powerful global city provides enormous benefits. Many businesses operate lean headquarters in London centre whilst running more substantial operations from this region – offering employees a greener out-of-city working environment.
Gatwick airport itself provides direct employment benefits for the local area, particularly neighbouring Crawley, which consequently enjoys one of the best jobs-to-individual ratios in the country. Yet such a significant international transport hub also makes Surrey and Sussex a great place from which to conduct global business.
There are over 120,000 businesses registered across Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex. Of those, only around 2,000 are classified as ‘medium’ or ‘large’, employing in excess of 50-250+ staff.
Lifestyle Benefits: Environment, Culture, Family
The “green and pleasant land” is truly in evidence here in Surrey and Sussex. Spectacular natural landscapes are protected as the Surrey Hills Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the South Downs National Park as well as numerous National Trust properties. This leafy environment is complimented by charming villages, lively market towns, busy cities and world-famous destinations.
There’s an abundance of watering holes Surrey, East and West Sussex – quite a crawl!
Housing costs are high here, but for good reason. If you’re looking for a new place to call home, Country Life magazine recommends trying Haslemere, Farnham, Chobham, Dunsfold, Windlesham, Frensham, Shamley Green, Lindfield or Lurgashall – ideal bases to set up your work life balance.
Families are well catered for, with some of the best state schools and an above-average performance at GCSE level. There are also 52 independent schools in the region, including the prestigious Charterhouse in Godalming and the imposing, gothic spired Lancing College on the South coast.
Professional Careers in Surrey and Sussex
Opportunities for professionals in Surrey and Sussex are available in abundance…
Opportunities for professionals in Surrey and Sussex are available in abundance. We are very much in a ‘candidate-centric’ market, with some of the highest rates of job density in the country (+9.6% above national average in Surrey, for example.) These aren’t just bar and waiting jobs either – almost half of all jobs (49%) in the region are classified as the ‘top’ occupational category: managers, senior-level, professional occupations.
Lawyers, financial professionals, businesspeople, marketing executives and operational staff with the right qualifications and experience on their CV have their pick of some of the best roles in the UK. For city dwellers, the region’s high demand can enable that much-coveted ‘escape to the country’, or residents can discover potential to slash their commute by finding senior positions closer to home.
44% Highly Educated
Almost half of Surrey residents are qualified to degree level, significantly above the 34% national average
Universities, colleges and training providers in the region are continually adding to the skilled workforce. University of Surrey in Guildford and University of Sussex in Brighton both rank within the top 15 nationally, providing both highly-qualified professionals and world-class research to local businesses. Brighton University – which also has campuses in Eastbourne and Hastings – Guildford’s University of Law and Farnham’s University of the Creative Arts add further specialism and diversity. Along with its strong schools provision, both state and private, Surrey and Sussex is certainly in surplus when it comes to professional expertise.
Careers for Leaders
Top-Tier Jobs – those classed as ‘high level managerial’, requiring significant academic or vocational credentials – are significantly more prevalent in Surrey and Sussex than the rest of the country, and as much as 12%+ in Surrey.
Some of the largest and most successful major employers across the Gatwick Diamond. As detailed in our full area profile, though, large businesses like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to jobs in Surrey and Sussex…
AON – Redhill – Global provider of risk management services, insurance and consulting.
AMEX – Brighton & Burgess Hill – Multinational financial services provider.
BDO – Gatwick & Guildford – Accountancy and advisory firm covering tax, audit and business consultancy.
Black & Veatch – Redhill – Engineering, procurement and construction for energy, water and telecoms worldwide.
Canon – Reigate – Marketing, sales and finance functions for part of the world-renowned camera and printer enterprise.
DMH Stallard – Brighton, Gatwick & Guildford – Commercial and personal multi-service law firm with presence across the South East.
ExxonMobil – ExxonMobil – Large campus headquarters of the oil and gas giant in Leatherhead, Surrey.
Jellyfish – Reigate & Brighton – Innovative provider of digital marketing solutions for global brands: SEO, PPC and beyond.
Legal & General – Kingswood & Hove – Pensions, insurance, compliance, finance and sales take place in these key locations.
Just Retirement – Reigate – Leading provider of retirement solutions through advice and financial services.
Rolls Royce – Chichester – Goodwood race course in Chichester is home to the ultimate automobile status symbol.
RSA – Horsham & Redhill – Multi-national insurance group, headquartered in London with major presence in Horsham, West Sussex.
RSPCA – Horsham – Operational headquarters of the UK’s most active animal charity.
Santander Consumer Finance – Redhill – Vehicle finance provider offering a range of products for consumers and small businesses.
Willis Towers Watson – Reigate & Redhill – Advisory, insurance brokerage and solutions helping clients around the world manage risk.
Looking for Work?
Key Working Locations: Cities, Towns, Campuses & Countryside
The geographical location of your workplace can radically improve your working lifestyle. Companies base themselves in Surrey and Sussex for many reasons, but employees’ wellbeing is usually high on the list. Think London’s the only place you’ll find work at your level? The opportunities in Surrey and Sussex may surprise you.
Major working hubs in Surrey and Sussex include the historic towns Guildford and Horsham, Gatwick-neighbour Crawley and lively seaside hotspot Brighton & Hove. All are home to major international enterprises, along with a host of smaller operations, keeping demand for senior professionals high.
Other towns with significant employment options include Reigate & Redhill, Leatherhead, Godstone, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Worthing, Eastbourne, Hastings and Uckfield. Striking the balance between career opportunity and proximity to home, these locations can be ideal the ideal places to achieve work/life harmony.
Even more remote, many larger companies chose to operate from out-of-town campus sites. Designed for optimal working environment, these campuses can feel like a breath of fresh air for ex-city commuters. Canon, ExxonMobil, Legal & General and the RSPCA all operate from campus offices in the region.
Escaping the London Commute
Commuting to London from the South East has pushed many disgruntled professionals to breaking point in the last few years.
The Brighton to Victoria 7:29am was officially Britain’s worst train service, arriving late every day for a year. In fact, Southern – blighted by strikes and technical faults – was confirmed as 2017’s worst UK rail operator, the majority of complaints centring on its London commuter routes. At the height of strike action August 2016, office rental provider Regus even offered free workspace for Surrey commuters.
Travel & Commuting
As commutes to London worsen and season ticket prices continue to rise, little wonder Surrey and Sussex residents have increasingly left London jobs behind and looked closer home for their next career move. And by comparison, working outside the M25 can vastly cut down on both the time and the stress involved with a central London commute.
Rail networks and busses connect major locations and local routes, with train services provided by Southern, Thameslink, Great Western, Southeastern. Services to London terminate at Victoria, Charing Cross, London Bridge and Canon Street.
If your home or workplace isn’t near a major transport link, commuting by road is often the only choice. Journeys through lush green surroundings are, though a vast improvement on the jam-packed commuter trains.
Cycle routes and bike-friendly roads connect the region. For the motivated, journeys to work can be invigorating, scenic and zero-cost. Seeing as many cyclist descend on Surrey and Sussex for weekend hobby riding, biking to work through the countryside could be a dream for many. Inspired? Try the North Downs Way
Explore The Professional
At Ambra Recruitment, we’re passionate about getting you the insights and connections you need to find fulfilling work across the Gatwick Diamond. Beyond the highest profile large employers, with such a rich landscape of small and medium businesses, you need an experienced guide to match you with professional opportunities.
Step one is a quick consultation to discuss your experiences and ambitions. If we know of a good match – ideal – and we’ll help you secure the role. But we’re also happy to make approaches on your behalf, giving you the best chance of success.
Get Started: Connect with Ambra
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