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Fears over Gloucestershire graduates 'brain drain'

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 29, 2012

concern:  Anne Compton,  LEP.

concern: Anne Compton, LEP.

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BUSINESS bosses say it is vital to stop a "brain drain" of graduates from Gloucestershire.

Figures released last week show half of students who leave the county to study do not return here to work.

And only 31 per cent of University of Gloucestershire students find a job in the county after graduation.

Anne Compton from Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership said: "It has to be a concern.

"We need a supply of young people in the county to keep business thriving.

"Somebody who is born and bred in Gloucestershire and has local connections can be a real asset to a business here and is more likely to stay long term."

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) surveyed 1,710 employed graduates who had left Gloucestershire to pursue their studies.

It found only 765, or 45.8 per cent, were back working in the county.

Anne, also managing director of Rickerbys LLP solicitors, said of the figures: "I don't think it's something we can ignore and the LEP is already working towards improving things.

"We are working closely with educational establishments and the aim is for all students to have access to placements and work experience so they can understand what opportunities we have here."

University of Gloucestershire figures from a survey in January show that out of 1,235 graduates working in the UK, just 392, or 31.7 per cent, of them worked in Gloucestershire.

It also showed that 71 per cent of them would like to remain here to live and work after graduation. Nicki Castello, head of careers at the university, said: "Unfortunately, our graduates can't always find the opportunities in-county which they are looking for.

"Nevertheless, 31.7 per cent of the class of 2011 found employment in Gloucestershire and 48 per cent of our graduates found work in the South West region."

In the same survey, 93 per cent of students said they would like to be able to access a database of graduate jobs in Gloucestershire.

As a result, the university has set up a new opportunities website, which can be seen at www.ugo.pro spects.ac.uk, where local employers may advertise their vacancies free of charge.

It also has a new Degree Plus team working to encourage local employers to take on its undergraduates as interns to work on short-term projects.

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  • Bratfurd  |  October 29 2012, 6:22PM

    The reason graduates are moving away as there are a lack of business in the area recruiting a skilled labour force. There are very few professional firms operating in the locale. I live in Gloucester, however work in central London through the week. I would love to work within the county, but the nearest applicable jobs I can find are in Swindon, Birmingham or Bristol.

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  • Takeaway22  |  October 29 2012, 10:57AM

    This country grew into 'greatness' through manufacturing and innovation. I believe this summarises things: "We have spent more money on bailing out the banks in one year than we spent on science in Britain since Jesus. And look what we did with that, we invented the industrial world." - Brian Cox. This country is now concentrating on the finance sector (something that actually produces no tangible goods whatsoever). The finance capital is London. Gloucestershire was a manufacturing county but with little investment, graduates are looking for a reasonable living wage elsewhere. Who can blame them? Countries that actually produce goods are on the up.

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  • geraint2010  |  October 29 2012, 10:51AM

    I agree with the previous commentators. Nobody should be FORCED to move away due to lack of suitable employment, but young people with a greater spirit of adventure will always want to broaden their outlooks and horizons by working and living away from home and long may it remain so.

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  • Douglasknows  |  October 29 2012, 10:21AM

    I moved away from my home town, I don't see a problem with it.

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  • Takeaway22  |  October 29 2012, 9:59AM

    Again, agreed with Bonkim. I have 2 siblings, one has moved to Switzerland, one is in the City and myself in Cheltenham....originally, we were from Honk Kong.

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  • Lecorche  |  October 29 2012, 9:16AM

    I agree with Bonkim 2003. As a young married man I went to wherever the work was.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  October 29 2012, 9:08AM

    Travel widens horizons - Yougsters have always moved out to find their fortunes. What is wrong with that? Does Gloucestershire have the industrial/business base to offer the needed opportunities? Many may have moved to the county previously to take up jobs when employers moved out from other locations and set shop here - firms spring up and die - natural life cycle of businesses - it would be unproductive to make a song and dance about graduates moving out - others come in - so what?

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