New design graduates shun London jobs over cost of living

Most new design graduates based in the UK plan to avoid working and living in London, where traditionally the majority of creative jobs have been harboured, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted on new graduates exhibiting this week at New Designers in London, revealed significant concerns about the cost of living in London, paired with an uncertainly over the impact of Brexit on the creative industries.

Asked about where they intend to work post-graduation, of the 27.5% who intend to set up in London, 79% cite “more exciting creative opportunities” as the reason.

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However more than two thirds of respondents said they plan to avoid the capital, with over a third saying that the most significant factor in their decision was that it is “too expensive to work and live in London”.

Whilst this presents a major challenge for creative businesses looking to recruit new talent in London, it suggests a shift in the role regional centres will play in attracting and nurturing, creativity, design and innovation moving forward.

Questioned about Brexit, just 12.8% of the graduates surveyed said believe that the UK’s creative economy will benefit from the government’s deal, while 63.3% do not. Another 23.9% stated uncertainty to the effect it will have.

Sarah Monk, portfolio director of New Designers commented: “Graduates always face uncertainty as they start to find their way in the commercial world, but the spectre of Brexit coupled with an unattainable housing market makes for a particularly unsettling economic environment.

“We can be sure, however, that a design education has equipped them with the problem solving, entrepreneurial and creative skills that they will need to make their way in the world.”

The survey also found that around 40% of new graduates hope to run their own creative businesses within the next five years, while 20% plan to secure work with a major brand.

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