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Is London the right move for graduates?

Published: Monday, 29 February 2016   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Employers are struggling to recruit graduates for regional offices as London remains the more popular option, according to one of the nation’s leading graduate employers.

A new advertisement campaign, from the accountancy firm PwC, is trying to convince graduates to apply for jobs in its regional offices – a relatively easy sell if you look at the numbers.

Salaries are 33% higher in London, but cost of living is considerably more than elsewhere within the UK – estimated at being 60% higher.

Despite these numbers, PwC is struggling to fill its regional graduate vacancies while applications for its London ones are up 17% on last year. 

The cost of London

If you are earning above-average wages renting a three-bedroom house in Manchester would cost you about a quarter of your earnings, where as in London it would cost you nearly half, according to calculations by Hometrack.

Experts believe that graduates have retained the idea that London is where all the opportunities are. Despite the cost, London still draws ambitious young people even though rent consumes a large amount of their salaries. Just under a quarter of recent UK graduates go on to work in the capital.

Half of PwC’s graduate vacancies are in regional areas and yet they find it harder to fill these roles; they insist people need to believe they can have great careers – not just cheap houses – outside of the capital.

What affect does this have on employers?

Despite the misconceptions or realities, large employers have good reasons to try and overcome them and start to consider creating more jobs outside the capital. 

It may not be a struggle to recruit 21-year-olds in London but they worry about how much it will cost to hold on to them long-term if house prices continue to climb.

Employers will be questioning what the situation will be like in 2025 when current new graduate employees are going to be hitting 30-years-old. Are they still going to want to be London-based and if yes, what is going to be offered to them and can such an outlay be afforded?

There are still some firms that are moving back to the capital after struggling to recruit in other locations. One approach gaining in popularity is the “north/south twin pole”, with salespeople in London and other high-skilled jobs such as IT development being based elsewhere.

For graduate schemes across a range of locations, visit Grad Plus today

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