Is London still calling project managers in 2019? As you can see from the image below (data taken from the latest PMBR) the answer is yes. The title of The Clash hit from 1979 would still appear to be true when it comes to Project Management in the UK.
28% of the respondents of the PMBR work in London, double that of the next highest region. The south coast and Midlands are still strong however the North West, Yorkshire and Scotland are lagging behind (click here to see the full results).
When the work location data is analysed by engagement type, we can see further differences with 26% of employees indicating that they work in London and 32% of those who are freelancers.
In terms of mobility, we can see in the image that London draws its workers from across the UK with 10% of practitioners travelling into the capital for work. Only London and the North West have more people working there than being a resident.
Streets Paved with Gold?
So what is drawing practitioners to make the trip to London each day compared to other locations?
One of the main pulling points of work in the capital is of course the significantly higher pay when compared to other regions of the UK. As we can see from the figure below day rates are likely to be higher towards the top end of the payscale for practitioners who work in London.
At the end of day money talks and London is more likely to attract the big organisations who can pay their employees at a much higher rate.
The capital generates 22% of UK GDP despite accounting for only 12.5% of the UK population as a result. According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research, it makes a net contribution to the Exchequer of an astonishing £34bn.
London’s GDP per head was 328% of the European Union average in 2010, compared with 70% in West Wales – the biggest gap between top and bottom in any EU state
As mentioned above more people work in London than live there. So the rewards of making the daily commute into the capital are clearly worth it for many practitioners.
However, whilst London has the highest rate of pay for those living in a fixed location its actually the practitioners who deliver with no fixed location who have the overall highest pay (as can be seen below) for both freelances and employees.
Will there be a shift in the future?
If we compare the data from previous PMBR’s to 2019 then London shows no signs of falling off the top spot. In fact, the percentage of practitioners working in London is growing year on year.
Looking back to 2014, 23% of practitioners worked in London. So that’s an increase of 5% since then. It will be interesting to keep an eye on these numbers in the coming year as the Brexit deadline passes. If the organisations who are currently threatening to leave the UK do actually leave will it have an impact on where project professionals find their employment in the UK?
Only time will tell.