Norfolk is a great place to live and work; very far from the sleepy backwater often portrayed in the media.
For Social Work professionals there are many challenges; historic levels of low attainment and low aspirations, pockets of deprivation and childhood poverty alongside areas of wealth and privilege, issues of isolation and rurality, a rapidly changing demographic with many different nationalities and cultures migrating to Norfolk – currently 100 different languages are spoken in the county and rapidly growing infrastructure which will bring with it extensive housing growth amongst others.
So while the county offers some of the same challenges and potential for interesting and absorbing work work as inner cities and more metropolitan counties – Norfolk offers a completely different and less pressured life style to help even out your work life balance.
Consider a considerably easier commute to work, through beautiful countryside and historic market towns. Housing costs which are well below the average –whether you choose to rent or buy. A range of leisure activities on your doorstep including great beaches, surfing, karting, horse and greyhound racing, water sports from rowing, through windsurfing to yachting. And if you’re a lover of heritage and culture we’ve got plenty of that too.
Our economy is beginning to boom too. Norfolk is where many major private sector companies are based. Aviva (previously Norwich Union Insurance) have had their Head Office here for over 200 years – this has led to large financial institutions developing a major presence in Norfolk include Marsh and Virgin Money. Other World Class brands based here include Colmans.
We are home to major international oil and gas companies along the North East and the East Coast and ‘renewables’ are growing - everything from work to great bioethanol from crops, to energy generation from solar and wind farms.
The John Innes Centre is renowned across Europe for innovation in crop research and food and life science – based in the Norwich Research Park, which as the home of more than 2700 scientists, is one of Europe’s largest concentrations of research in health, food and environmental sciences.
In the Health sector we have 5 Clinical Commissioning Groups and 5 Health Trusts – and the link between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the University of East Anglia is also responsible for a growing reputation for medical research too.
Hethel Engineering Centre continues to expand and is nationally recognised as a centre of excellence for engineering and design – the area’s historic links to the Lotus group has spawned a host of high performance automotive engineering companies who continue to thrive in Norfolk.
Our creative and digital sector is also strong – with Norwich recently acknowledged with Tech City status – and more than 80% of premises in the county able to access superfast broadband, a figure increasing daily.
Our FEIs and HEIs offer a wide range of choices for students; the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, is rated amongst one of the best in the country, and the Norwich University of the Arts has a growing reputation particularly in digital creativity. In West Norfolk you will find the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Head Office at Bircham Newton. They are busy getting apprentices trained to meet the emerging demands of the building sector, there is massive housing growth planned in Norfolk and across England and a large skills shortage.
Norwich international airport provides a gateway to Europe and the rest of the world via daily flights to Schiphol, plus daily internal flights to Aberdeen, Manchester and Dublin. Further details can be found at norwichairport.co.uk. Rail travel around the UK is also easy, Norwich to London in as little as 1 hour and 40 minutes, Cambridge in under an hour and direct train links to the Midlands. The recently full dualling of the A11main road from Norwich to London has also considerably cut driving time to the capital, and improved road safety.
Oh and we should also mentioned that Norwich has been voted as the happiest place to work in England, and the rest of the county is pretty cheerful too!
So, opportunities for professional challenge for you and opportunities for your family to get a role that satisfies you in a place that can offer you great leisure activities to wind down on your own or with your family. What’s not to like?