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How Leeds City Region is Bucking the Trend

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06 Apr 2017

Leeds was described recently by the Centre for Cities as leading the transformation of UK destinations to a knowledge led economy. It is therefore no surprise the city’s migration patterns are dominated by movements of university students and graduates.

However what is truly unique to Leeds is that the city overall is experiencing something only two other locations in the country are; a graduate brain gain.

According to the Centre for Cities, UK cities and towns traditionally see a net inflow of 16 to 21 year olds, followed by a net outflow of 22 to 30 year old graduates. In the case of Leeds we see that many of those young people, who enter the city between 16 and 21 to study, stay after graduation. However these numbers are also bolstered by the fact that Leeds attracts a significant number of new graduates starting their careers who have not lived in the city before. What this means is that overall Leeds sees a net gain in graduates, and in fact it boasts the third highest gain of all UK cities, behind only London and Manchester.

When looking to explain this net growth, it is clear that Leeds’ strong Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) sector is key driver, with a higher proportion of graduates working in the KIBS and other private services sectors in Leeds than in the UK as a whole.

The success Leeds has in attracting graduates to work in the city is one of the key drivers of the region’s inward investment success, with international businesses including both Sky and Perform Group highlighting the region’s access to talent as decisive factors in their investment decisions.

To read the full report from the Centre for Cities click here.