New figures reveal job opportunities for North East graduates fall by 45%

Opportunities for graduates in the North East have plunged by more than 45% in a year, stark new figures reveal

Chris Ison/PA Wire University students celebrating their graduation
University students celebrating their graduation

In 2011/12 just 95 university leavers were taken on by the firms who employed the most graduates in the region, down from 175 the year before.

But even at its peak the number of jobs available to those with a new degree was far below other areas like the South East – reinforcing fears of a “brain drain” towards London.

Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell, shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, said the figures were troubling, and showed the North-South divide.

“These figures are concerning, but reflect what we all know to be the case – that there sadly remain considerably more opportunities for young people in London and the South East than in our region,” she said. “Retaining talent within the North East – and that means both the people who grow up here and those who choose to come here as students – is really critical for our future economic growth.

“I was really lucky to be able to live and work in Newcastle after university and enjoy the fantastic quality of life that our region has to offer, but I know that many of my friends didn’t and felt they had to move away.

“We need a wide range of skilled employment opportunities to be available – including graduate jobs – across the North East, if we are to earn our way to improved and sustainable living standards, and there is clearly some way to go on this issue.”

The figures were compiled by, which based its findings on the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

“Where the public sector formerly recruited the greatest proportion of graduates into graduate-type employment in the North East, many government departments and local government bodies have cut their recruitment right back,” a spokesman for the company said. “The local authorities that accounted for most employment have slipped out of contention.

“The multiple arms of Boots – the pharmaceutical and retail group – again top the table for the 10 leading recruiters of graduates in the region, with some 25 posts filled.

“Management services company Accenture was third, up from seventh in the previous survey. And the other main sources of graduate type jobs are Newcastle University and Sunderland Royal Hospital.”


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