Crawley in West Sussex is a modern town with a population of about 107,000. Situated 18 miles north of Brighton, it was designated under the New Towns Act 1946 as a growth area. Since then, rapid development and investment have turned it into one of the country's major business hubs.
Crawley is the nearest town to Gatwick Airport and it provides many of the 23,000 staff that work there. Gatwick is estimated to be worth £2bn annually to the South East's economy is the world's busiest single-runway airport and caters for over 34 million passengers every year. The specific staff requirements of the airport and its peripheral operations mean that recruitment agencies are in demand.
Crawley has historically had high levels of employment, despite the fact that educational attainment is low in relation to the region and the rest of the country. In the 2011 census, the population of Crawley had the fourth highest percentage of people who had only achieved NVQ1. Average earnings for Crawley residents are £29,224 per year.
In addition to the international airport, Crawley is well-connected by road and rail. Journeys to London take around half an hour and the M25 is about a twenty minute drive away. Crawley's status as a small town with a large business hub gives it an unusual employment landscape, and there are several recruitment agencies catering for both the business and the travel sectors. Other big employers include KPMG, Deloitte, and PWC.