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Cath Everett

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Brain drain – 1/3 of grads plan to leave UK

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A lack of suitable job opportunities in this country is driving a third of recent UK graduates and final year students to consider moving abroad for work, warns a new report.

The survey undertaken among 1,085 current and former university students by student and employer matchmaking web site Studentgems.com, indicated that most respondents had applied for between 20 and 30 jobs each, with just 5% resulting in an interview.
 
Only one in five graduates had found employment in their chosen career, while 34% indicated that they were now looking for jobs abroad. A huge 75% said that the reason for their decision was the ongoing struggle to find work in the UK.
 
Sue Harrison, a co-founder of the web site, said: “Even if only a quarter of these students looking at jobs abroad left for greener pastures, the loss to the British job market would be felt for years to come.”
 
But it started with “simple courtesy,” she added. Only two fifths of employers deigned to get back in touch if candidates were unsuccessful at interview, which showed that too many were “becoming complacent with the level of applications for roles”, Harrison said.
 
But the situation could lead to a potential brain drain, particularly into Europe, where 78% of those looking abroad said they would prefer to go. About 19% said they were exploring vacancies further afield.
 
A second study, meanwhile, undertaken by Foundation Degree Forward, a national body that promotes employer links with higher education, indicated the number of students enrolling for such courses had risen by 40% to 99,740.
 
The news came as the Higher Education Funding Council for England indicated that it was set to withdraw £24 million in set-up funding to enable universities to offer them. Foundation degrees are shorter in length and equal two thirds of a normal one, but enable individuals to learn whilst in employment.

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