New research suggests that seven out of ten graduates are choosing to work outside the traditional graduate employment hotspots of London and the South-East.
That's the key conclusion from the latest Graduate Market Trends report, produced by Graduate Prospects.
The report notes that, while London and the South-East still remain the most popular destinations for recent graduates (attracting 17.6% and 12.3% of the total respectively), the North-West has emerged as a strong third choice, favoured by 11.3%.
Next come Scotland (with 8.5%), Yorkshire & the Humber (7.7%) and the South-West (7%). Wales attracts 4.4%, the North-East 4.1%, and Northern Ireland currently props up the table with just 3.1%.
The report also notes that at least 40% of the 2003 graduating cohort opted to stay in the region where they'd studied, with Northern Ireland and Scotland retaining no less than 96.9% and 84.8% of their graduating students respectively. In London , 69.9% stick around – the highest regional total in England , just ahead of the 66.6% in the North-West.Graduate Prospects' chief executive Mike Hill commented: “ London and the South-East have always been magnets for newly qualified graduates, which is not surprising given that this is where many of the blue-chip companies offering fast-track graduate schemes reside. What is surprising now is the extent of the drift away from these traditional graduate employment hotspots, perhaps reflecting the trend towards increased graduate employment in the public sector and SMEs – both of which have less regional bias.”