Contracting in Cardiff

Hop over the English/Welsh border into Wales and you have a truly unique capital city whose 320,000 residents believe is one of Europe’s best, as a place to live and work. The city region benefits from a great leisure offer, with a full range of infrastructure expected of any modern capital - whilst at the same time offering an enviable quality of life. Cardiff itself is a ‘city of parks’ with more green space per person than any other UK city and has been described as the ‘epitome of cool’ by the renowned Lonely Planet travel guide. It has a varied nightlife including the hustle and bustle of St Mary Street and the relaxed contemporary dining and bars in Cardiff Bay.

Known as the ‘city of arcades’, Cardiff offers a mix of boutique stores found in the city’s elegant Victorian arcades, and the city centre facilities of a modern European capital. It is also home to world-class venues and international events. The 75,000 capacity Millennium Stadium is recognised across the world and the Wales Millennium Centre has established a worldwide reputation as an iconic arts and cultural destination.

Living and working in South Wales makes a healthy work-life balance both achievable and enjoyable. Another major benefit of being in this part of the world is the close proximity to both coast and the countryside. There are good rail links to the South West and beyond, as well as the convenience of an international airport on your doorstep.

Major companies

Confused.com/Admiral Insurance

This well-known comparison website and the insurance company has its head offices in Cardiff. It was founded in 1993 and also owns elephant.co.uk amongst 13 other brands. Today it has more than 2 million customers and 3,500 staff members worldwide. It has been listed in the Sunday Times ‘Top 100 companies to Work For’ since 2001, ranking 16th in 2010, and in the Financial Times ’50 Best Workplaces in the UK’ since 2003 – currently ranking 10th. After floating in 2004 it became the highest valued public company in Wales.

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This is the well-known trading name of a company called The Number UK Ltd which provides directory enquiries services as well as many other services such as train times, cinema listings and even directions! It has been in business since 2002 when the directory enquiries service was deregulated and is now a subsidiary of KGB, making it part of the largest independent directory assistance supplier in the world. This company consistently ranks among the best in the industry in all aspects of customer service and handles 1 billion calls a year.

Local newspapers
Cardiff has a number of local papers including the South Wales Echo, the Western Mail and Wales on Sunday.

Typical rates of pay
Typical rates of pay for contractors will, of course, vary depending on an individual’s skill-set, but as a guide, an IT Project Manager South Wales region could expect to earn around £400 per day, whilst a less specialist contractor might expect to command a daily rate of around £325 to £350. For typical rates of pay in the South West, across a variety of skill sets, visit our contractor rates of pay page.

Ones to watch
There are a number of large construction and redevelopment projects going on in the area – all of which will provide a wide range of opportunities for all types of contractors. Some of the most notable are as follows:

Cardiff International Sports Village (ISV)
This is a major project for Cardiff and includes a waterfront development as well as a permanent ice rink, a snow facility and a conference/convention centre. These are all in the early stages of planning but will create opportunities for all types of contractors over the coming years – from urban planning onwards.

Things to consider before contracting in Cardiff:

Pros

  • You’re never far from the sea, or from the great countryside.
  • International airport and great rail links nearby.
  • Culture, entertainment, nightlife and shopping in bucket loads!
  • Lower cost of living than comparable cities in other parts of the country.

Cons

  • Despite good rail links, it’s still a good couple of hours’ journey to London or the cities of the Midlands and beyond.
  • Cardiff for some aren't seen as cultural as other cities in the UK and are overshadowed, culturally.  

Key recruitment agencies and job boards
There are many local job sites in the region as well, including www.mycardiffjobs.co.uk. There is also the useful www.welshjobs.com which could be useful for Cardiff based contracting positions.

For information on other regional contracting guides, see the links below (we will be adding more guides over time):

Contracting in Aberdeen
Contracting in Edinburgh and Glasgow
Contracting in Newcastle
Contracting in London
Contracting in Reading and Guildford
Contracting in Milton Keynes
Contracting in Birmingham
Contracting in Manchester, Liverpool and the North West

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or e-mail: newbusiness@sjdaccountancy.com