Middlesbrough has had to reinvent itself following the demise of its historic heavy industries such as iron, steel, shipbuilding and chemical works. There are still many jobs to be found in these industries in Teesside (such as the Wilton and Billingham chemical plants) but the majority of Middlesbrough’s employment is within the service sector. This includes distribution, hotels, transport, finance, IT, education and health.
One of the other major employers is Middlesbrough Council, reflecting the reliance on public sector jobs in the area. The council employs more than 7,000 people in education, social care, health, education, tourism, cleaning and administration. The council also helps support the town's cultural life which includes the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art which opened to great acclaim in 2007 at a cost of £14m. The gallery is a proud statement by the town of the value of arts and the town's determination to be at the cutting edge.
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Shopping remains one of the most vibrant sectors with Middlesbrough boasting one of the largest shopping centres in the north-east. In fact the town has four main shopping centres: The Mall, Dundas Street, Hillstreet and Captain Cook Square. He you will find a wide range of national retailers (BHS, HMV, Orange, Vodafone, Warehouse etc) as well as a range of independents. The chains can offer a structured career in retail while the independents can offer the chance to work for a family firm, quickly learning a wide range of skills.
Middlesbrough has launched a DigitalCity initiative which includes the 'Boho Zone', a series of flagship offices for digital media and technology companies. And continuing the council's cultural policy, one of the buildings in the Zone is devoted to professional artists and crafts people.
Teesside University has over 20,000 students, and was recently voted Times Higher Education university of the year. Jobs in education and training are also boosted by the presence of the Cleveland College of Art and Design, within the exciting Middlehaven development.