Cardiff Capital Region defends brochure that advertises lower salaries than other cities
The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal has responded to criticism after a brochure advertised Cardiff as an area with lower average graduate salaries than other cities.
The Investment Prospectus brochure lists Cardiff alongside other cities including Glasgow, Birmingham, Edinburgh and London to show that the £25,959 average graduate salary is “very competitive”.
The brochure, which has a foreword by Cardiff Council Leader Huw Thomas and Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Chair Anthony Hunt attracted criticism on social media with users saying that the Cardiff City Region were advertising “cheap labour”.
Cheap labour! Invest in Cardiff Capital Region – we don’t pay our people very well! As presented on your behalf to global investors in Cannes this week, you’re welcome. Well-educated, diverse, and 20% cheaper than Glasgow.
— Mark Drane (@healtharch) March 16, 2022
Cardiff Civic Society posted that it was “not a good look, particularly when considered next to rapidly rising house prices/rents”.
Cardiff University PhD candidate Samuel Parry responded that chasing outside investment led to a “race to the bottom in the name of competition”.
“Competition between peripheral regions leads governments to attempt to ‘win’ FDI by offering grants and by making their workforce seem attractive (usually by alluding to lower wages in the case of Wales),” he said.
However, the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal told Nation.Cymru that the brochure was simply an attempt to place Cardiff “in context”.
“This messaging is underpinning our aim to increase wages by developing and attracting more quality jobs. By highlighting that salaries are currently competitive we aim to leverage further investment to raise wages across the city-region,” a spokesperson said.
“Only those cities with higher average salaries are listed in the infographic. Cardiff is equivalent or higher than some other core cities, and coupled with quality of life and cost of living, Cardiff city-region is a highly desirable place to live and work.”
The brochure’s foreword says that there has “never been a more exciting time to invest in the Cardiff Capital Region”.
“This prospectus showcases some of the major investment opportunities being led by the Cardiff Capital Region that are happening right now or are planned, and for which investors are being sought,” it says.
It adds that Cardiff has “aspirations to become the most business-friendly region in the UK”.
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