One-quarter of graduates head for London

A new study has shown that London attracts a disproportionate share of new graduates looking for jobs.

A report by Centre for Cities, ‘The Great British Brain Drain’, has found that in 2014 and 2015 one-quarter of graduates were working in London within 6 months of completing their degrees.

The city is particularly attractive to high achievers. 38% of newly arrived graduates working in London achieved a first or 2:1 from a Russell Group university.

The study has also found that students are unlikely to remain in their university cities. In Birmingham, 76% of students who moved there for study left after graduation. In Southampton, the figure was as high as 86%.

Newcastle students are more likely to stay in the region. The Careers Service at Newcastle University told The Courier that the North East has an “excellent graduate retention rate”, thanks to being such a “vibrant University region”.

Of last year’s graduates, 41% stayed in the North East.

Newcastle University students can benefit from accessing a “full spectrum” of graduate opportunities – there are jobs available in every graduate sector.

With a quarter of graduates heading for the bright lights of London, there are fears that other cities might experience a ‘brain drain’ effect.

More and more graduates are attracted to London as the city accounts for around 19% of all jobs in the UK.

And the job opportunities were found as the most important factor influencing graduates’ choices.

There was no relationship found between moving graduates and wages – a future career plays a more important role in the decisions than money.

The continuing ‘brain drain’ proves the necessity of rebalancing the economic power in the UK to reverse the trend of bright graduates heading for London.

The study has also suggested that other cities need to attract and retain more graduates. It can be achieved by focusing on wider economic growth and creation of more high-skilled jobs.

Naomi Oosman-Watts, Assistant Director in the Careers Service, told The Courier that local job market growth would be beneficial to both graduates and locals in Newcastle – creating more investments in the region and offering more opportunities.

Oosman-Watts believes in growing job prospects in the North East, with large companies such as Procter and Gamble based in the area. This factor, Oosman-Watts added, gives graduates plenty of opportunities to “stay local and promote growth in the region”.

The Trendence Graduate Partner Report 2016 found that, for both UK and International students at Newcastle, London was the second most-popular graduate destination. The most popular destination choice was to remain in the North East.

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