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17 December 2009
New research by graduate recruitment website GradFutures.com based on responses from 368 current students and recent graduates across the UK reveals that graduates are focussing their job search almost exclusively on London and the South East, despite being willing to move anywhere in the UK to secure a role.
However, as Demetrios Zoppos, Director at GradFutures.com, warns "graduates will find that London's streets aren't always paved with gold. Times are undoubtedly tough for graduates but there are still job opportunities to be found outside the capital. By focusing their job search on the South East graduates could be missing out on career opportunities elsewhere."
"Similarly, regional employers must widen their nets and step up marketing of opportunities to attract the cream of the country's graduates."
The vast majority (91%) of graduates are looking for work in London, and a third (31%) are job seeking in the South East, according to the study. Demetrios Zoppos commented "graduates believe the only place to build a successful career is in London, to which we have to say 'Oh no it isn't!' London has always had the most competitive graduate job market thanks to the sheer number of applicants for the capital's positions. This situation has only worsened as a result of the recession."
"By simply focussing on London, graduates close the door to opportunities at the huge number of firms of all sizes that donââ‚¬â„¢t operate in the capital."
Major UK regions outside of these areas each only manage to draw 13% of graduate jobseekers on average. Indeed, only around one in ten (11%) graduates are looking in the North West, 7% in Wales and barely 4% are considering vacancies in Northern Ireland. This is despite the fact that the majority (53%) of graduates claim to be ready and willing to move across the country for a job.
Demetrios Zoppos said "as things stand, regional employers are only accessing around one in ten of the total graduate population. There is a big opportunity for employers outside of London to improve their graduate 'gene pool', by getting in front of the countryââ‚¬â„¢s best graduates at exactly the right time with an attractive offering."
"Reward budgets are tight, but recruiters can tempt graduates away from London by meeting their desire for varied and challenging work and offering clear career progression with structured training."