With a population of just under 9 million, London is the capital of the United Kingdom. Renowned for it's cultural diversity, impressive green spaces, great travel links, rich history, and bustling night-time economy, London also provides career defining opportunities.
The number of people living in London and its many boroughs continues to grow year on year. Around 37% of those living in the city are not UK natives and 40% of that 9 million are Black and Minority Ethnic. Many industries thrive in London; including arts, fashion, finance, media and - of course - social work!
"I love working in London, I feel valued in my workplace and love the work/life balance from living in such a fantastic city."Social Worker, London Council
"I love working in London, I feel valued in my workplace and love the work/life balance from living in such a fantastic city."
Social Worker, London Council
With the largest urban economy in Europe, and one of the major financial centres in the world, London is truly a global hub, providing both personal opportunities, family time and professional exposure to new life experiences and accelerating careers.
People from all walks of life come together in London, creating a welcoming and inclusive community atmosphere. With over 300 languages spoken, the rich and diverse blend of cultures is testament to the fact that people from all over the world call London home. There is always something to see and do, and over 2000 years of history, landmarks, museums, and art to enjoy.
The city is a melting pot of different ideas, lifestyles and traditions, making it a unique and exciting place for both individuals and families to live. London has a vibrant personality; it’s easy to feel the buzz of the community as soon as you step into the city.
The city's impressive public transport system is constantly improving, making London easy and quick to navigate. You can efficiently and affordably get where you need to be at almost any time of the day, whether it's commuting to work or heading out to explore the many inner and outer boroughs.
Each area of London is easily accessible through Transport for London. This includes regular tube services, buses, overground railways and plenty of taxi options. To make public transport accessible and affordable for all, London's transport system is split into six zones, from Zone 1 (Central London) to Zone 6 (the very outer regions of the city). These zones make it much easier to understand transport charges and ticketing; the more zones you go through, the more costly your fare will be.
You can pay for transport either at ticket machines or barriers with a valid debit or credit card (you can use contactless payment to pay as you go at ticket barriers). If you’re moving to London, it's highly recommended to get an Oyster Card which you can use on the following modes of transport:
Dockland Light Railway (The DLR)
Most TfL Rail
Emirates Air Line
Thames Clippers River Bus Service
Most National Rail Services in London
An annual pass can make travel around London even cheaper; a fare cap on London transport means that the total are of all your journeys in a day or week is capped at a certain amount - this very helpful if you find yourself travelling a lot.
There's also the option to explore London on foot or on a bicycle, with dedicated cycle lanes across the city and self-service cycle hire schemes and hop-on bikes available too.
Even if you don't live in London, working in the city has never been easier, with new transport links providing quick and easy access into all corners of the region enabling you to progress your career and still enjoy the best of London-life has to offer.
Several of London's councils offer employee's transport support too, so remember to speak to each council to understand their offer.
When choosing where to live in London, it's best to think about what kind of people and places you want to surround yourself with. This will help you to pick the borough that best suits your personality. It also ensures that you always have access to the type of London lifestyle you hope for. There’s no denying that London – like most capital cities, can be an expensive place to live. However, there are lots of ways to keep costs down where needed.
The boroughs within London fall into five primary regions, which are:
South East London
South West London
Within these regions are various boroughs and neighbourhoods to choose from. Some will be ideal for the young professional looking for a vibrant social life close to work. Others will appeal more to families who want a home close to good schools and green open spaces.
Several of London's councils offer key work housing for employees, so it's worth talking directly to each of the councils to understand their offer.
If you’re going to be working in London but want to be able to escape the city after work and on weekends, then you may be looking for the perfect commuting towns instead of a place within Greater London.
There are some very popular towns that offer impressive transport links to and from London, many of which can get you into London within 20 to 40 minutes.
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© London Social Work for Children 2024