UK cities outside of the capital may soon overtake London as the number one destination for graduates. From the movement of economic powers to outside of London, to a better work-life balance, UK cities are becoming more and more attractive to graduates.
Midlands regional chair for KPMG, Mike Steventon says: “The increased vibrancy of cities with improved social and cultural offerings – and the regional devolution debate – are attracting today’s graduates. There is a healthier approach now to balancing work and life and that will influence decisions on where to apply.
“We used to fill our vacancies in London first but last year Birmingham filled up first. The quality of work and experience on offer and an easy commute add to the appeal. Deutsche Bank and HSBC are businesses that have moved into the city to tap into the talent pool.”
Laura Thurston, who is in charge of KPMG’s national entry level recruitment states that candidates do not need a business or economics qualifications:
“We are taking graduates from different backgrounds and are actively looking for half of them with no business or finance experience.” This follows the current trend of employers looking for candidates with soft skills such as good communication, presentation and project management expertise.
KPMG has offices across the UK, and are still recruiting in Scotland despite the recent drop in oil prices. Thurston pays particular attention to Aberdeen:
“As a business community Aberdeen has a lot to offer and we want to have a responsive team there and build a long-term strategy.”
Nottingham is also popular with graduates with its claim of being a “city of innovative business, vibrant culture and great quality life, all for a fraction of the cost of living and working in the South East.” Nottingham is home to a number of “upcoming creative and technology firms” at BioCity and the Creative Quarter, whilst Boots, Experian and Capital One also count the city as their home.
Cities within Yorkshire such as Leeds, Sheffield and York are also attracting more graduates. A number of graduates choose to stay there after graduation, along with many moving to the area from across the UK. Other than London it is the only region to be a “net importer of graduates.”