Key messages for attracting and retaining graduate talent in the South West

Monday, July 3, 2017

Following Gradsouthwest’s work with DCBC over the past few months, June 30 saw over 100 people gather at Plymouth University to discuss talent retention and attraction at the DCBC Quarterly conference.

Charlie Ball, from Prospects, gave an overview of talent migration from a national perspective. We also heard from our partners Unlocking Potential with Nicky Luke speaking about 'recruitment being like fishing'. Sharron Robbie, of Devon & Cornwall Training Network discussed the use of training for retention, and employer-led developments in the Building Plymouth project were provided by Julian Phillips of Midas.

Here are some of the key messages from the sessions:

-       Graduate recruitment has totally and completely recovered from the recession

-       More grad jobs are being created than there are new graduates every year

-       The new Postgraduate loans system is working

-       1 in 5 grads goes to London (which means 4 in 5 don’t!)

-       Bristol is a significant attractor of graduates in the South West

-       STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) vacancies are the most difficult to fill

-       60-70% of grad jobs don’t specify a required degree…

-       However, recruiters are often too specific with the skills they require on Job Descriptions and Person Specifications

-       Graduates are interested in career progression, skills and training, location and affordability much more than the headline salary on offer!

-       Real employee engagement enhances retention

-       Employers should consider working together to create a pool of talent that they can all benefit from.

It is clear that attracting and retaining talent is going to be a key issue for employers over the coming years!

Here at Gradsouthwest we will continue to help employers in the South West recruit graduates – pop over to to find out more.

We will also be continuing to work with DCBC on a regional campaign - if you are interested in taking part drop us an email.