Ahead of the Autumn Statement, a new report warns that most UK cities are struggling to attract the high-achieving graduates critical to driving economic growth – with top-ranking students flocking to London for the job opportunities and career progression it offers.
The report, The Great British Brain Drain: where graduates move and why, published today by the think tank Centre for Cities, shows that a quarter of all new graduates (24 per cent) from UK universities in 2014 and 2015 were working in London within six months of finishing their degree.
Moreover, it shows that London is far outperforming other cities in drawing talented graduates from leading UK universities. In 2014-15, the capital attracted more than a third (38 per cent) of new Russell Group graduates with first-class or upper-second class degrees who moved for a job (1) – around 13 times more than Manchester, the second most popular destination for this group.
This trend was even clearer for new Oxbridge graduates, with London gaining more than half (52 per cent) of those who moved for work after finishing university, compared to just 2% in Birmingham and Bristol respectively.
|City||Share of top-ranking* new Russell Group graduates who moved for work (2014 & 2015)||City||Share of new Oxbridge graduates who moved for work (2014 & 2015)|
*Graduates with first class or upper-second class degrees
The report also makes a number of recommendations on how national and local leaders can address the graduate brain drain – arguing that these should be key considerations in the Autumn Statement, and in the Government’s new economic and industrial strategy to “drive growth up and down the country”:
Commenting on the findings of the report, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of the Centre said:
“The Government will not achieve its vision of extending prosperity and growth across the country unless it takes steps to help more cities attract and retain the UK’s top talent. Wage subsidies and other specific graduate-retention policies will not tackle the root causes of this issue – instead, the priority for national and local leaders should be strengthening city-region economies, and increasing local demand and opportunities for graduates.
“In the Autumn Statement, the Government should therefore focus on boosting economic growth in city-regions across the country by investing in large-scale housing and transport projects. It should also use the new economic and industrial strategy to reinforce and complement the devolution deals currently in place for city-regions like Greater Manchester, to give them greater scope to grow their economies, and to develop and attract talented workers.”
For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Brian Semple, Head of Communications at Centre for Cities, on 0207 803 4316 / 07595 439 638 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre for Cities is a research and policy institute, dedicated to improving the economic success of UK cities. We are a charity that works with cities, business and Whitehall to develop and implement policy that supports the performance of urban economies. We do this through impartial research and knowledge exchange. For more information, please visit centreforcities.org/about
The data used in this report comes from a number of sources:
Head of Communications