New data published today by the Office for Students has found that London and the south-east has the highest concentration of well-paid graduates in the country.
The experimental statistics use both Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) data and Census 2011 data, as well as travel to work areas (TTWAs), which are defined using commuting patterns. They show how graduate opportunities are spread across the UK, and detail differences in earnings and employment status by local area.
The statistics show that:
- Areas in England with the highest concentration of well-paid graduates (those earning over £23,000) are London, Reading, Slough and Heathrow. 70 per cent of graduates earn over £23,000 or are in further study three years after graduation
- The Midlands, and North and South-West England contain most of the areas with the lowest earnings – 52 per cent of graduates earn over £23,000 or are in high-level study. Coastal towns are facing particular challenges.
The data also compares outcomes across different student groups. Analysis shows that:
- Black graduates are almost four times more likely than white students to live in the areas with the highest average graduate earnings and rates of professional employment – primarily driven by the number of black graduates living in London
- However, white graduates living in these areas are significantly more likely to earn above £23,000 or be engaged in further study – 74 per cent for white graduates compared to 60 per cent of black graduates
- This regional gap is largely obscured at a national level. Overall, 60 per cent of white graduates earn above £23,000 or are in higher-level study three years after graduation, compared to 58 per cent of black graduates.
Graduates should not feel they have to move to London to get good jobs, or risk being disadvantaged for staying in their home town or city for work – Chris Millward, OfS
“We want all students to progress from higher education with the skills and knowledge to have an enriching life and career,” said Chris Millward, director for fair access and participation at the OfS.
“This analysis confirms a familiar picture: talented and well-equipped graduates can be found all over the country, but opportunities for well-paid and highly-skilled work are unevenly spread. It also helps to build our understanding of the particular challenges that face different groups of students in navigating the labour market.
“Graduates should not feel they have to move to London to get good jobs, or risk being disadvantaged for staying in their home town or city for work. Through the Local Graduates programme, we are funding a range of projects to help boost the employment opportunities for graduates who study and work in the place where they grew up. We will continue to explore ways of supporting students in all parts of the country to access opportunities for rewarding and skilled careers.”
The OfS is seeking feedback on the experimental data and how institutions might use the classifications: firstname.lastname@example.org
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