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Where do all those graduates go?

04 August 2015

Graduate retention is always an issue for businesses looking to recruit bright new talent from Universities, keeping the best local and not ‘losing them to London’ is a common worry as the draw of the capital city takes many away. Helping graduates find those local jobs is one of the main reasons behind gradsouthwest.com – so it is close to our hearts! Our aim is to help local businesses recruit great graduates; and help local graduates get quality graduate jobs… locally.

Policy makers also look at graduate retention figures; and improved retention leads to improving regional productivity, as graduates are closely linked to business productivity gains. Taken from the Government’s recent report (BIS-15-344), the table below shows the local picture: the area in which students were domiciled prior to study and the region in which students were domiciled six months after graduation. As you can see between 9.6-14.5% of local graduates are in London 6 months after graduation, but the good news is that between 61.3-74.9% are still based in their local area.

So do graduates want local jobs here in the South West? Clearly the answer is yes they do, and they prove it by staying local in large numbers.

Table 1: Graduate retention rates (6 months after graduation), % retained in home region and % in the London region, 2012/13









 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area Retention in region

(where known)

% in London



Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly 74.9 9.6




West of England 72.7 10.6




Heart of the South West 71.6 11.1




Dorset 62.2 13.9




Swindon and Wiltshire 61.3 14.5




Gloucestershire 60.7 13.4











Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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