Graduates shy away from London working

The popularity of working in London could be on the downturn as fewer graduates look for jobs in the capital.

Graduates still want to find jobs straight from university and rate being close to their workplace as a major consideration for where to live, but are resisting the lure of the ‘big smoke’ according to research.

Graduate recruitment website Milkround asked more than 100 users for their plans for work and compared the results to a similar survey in 2007. 

The Milkround survey revealed the draw of higher salaries and city living in London is on the downturn.

Although 60 percent of graduates still expect to look for work in the capital, that figure is down from 71 percent last year.

In the same period the number of graduates ruling out careers in London completely has risen from 28 percent in 2007 to 34 percent now.

However, 73 percent still want to live in a city: 48 percent of graduates would choose living in a city centre over any other location and 25 percent would prefer a city suburb to living outside the city limits.

This suggests other UK cities are likely to see a net gain at London’s expense.

Although London may not be seen as the attractive option it once was to graduate jobseekers, South East England as a whole is rising in popularity.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) say they would like to work there, compared to 19 percent last year. The north of England is still a hotspot too, appealing to 21 percent of graduates but down from 24 percent in 2008.

Wales and Northern Ireland remain largely ignored by jobseekers as unattractive options: just three and two percent of graduates expect to work in these UK regions respectively, echoing last year’s figures despite a recent campaign to encourage graduates to work in Ireland and the emergence of Cardiff as an attractive location for businesses.

In light of the Milkround survey, the demand for property in London could face a decline.

Three in five (63 percent) graduates rate living close to their job as a key consideration when deciding where to move to after university, while a third (34 percent) aim for cheap living costs, 30 percent want to have family nearby and 29 percent will try to find a place where there are a high number of jobs available.

London living is associated with long commutes to save on living costs and often isolation from family so graduates may think twice about moving to London to pursue their job dreams.

Milkround.com spokesman Mike Barnard said:

“As the realities of a recession sink in, even more graduates may well shy away from working in London where the cost of living is known to be potentially higher than anywhere else in the UK.

“Given the desire to live close to work but in a city, popular alternatives to London might include Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham.

“However, with South East England remaining a firm favourite with graduates, we would expect to continue to see the commute into London from towns and cities in the Home Counties be maintained for the foreseeable future as graduates continue to find a match between sought-after London jobs and a manageable work-life balance.”

Comments are closed.