With the city about to be flooded with students for the start of a new academic year, Sheffield will again become a hub of talent.
The two brilliant universities will teach young people to a point where they can call themselves experts and then release them into the wild. But will the students remain in Sheffield, or will they go in search of the bright lights of London?
The Office for National Statistics reported last year that the London workforce was made up of 60 per cent graduates, while in Yorkshire and Humber, just under half of that have degrees (32 per cent). Come the summer, is there a mass departure from the smaller cities in the north to south, leaving student-shaped holes in the city?
The lure of London is something I had on graduating. Of course, there are the gleaming career opportunities and it was also something I wanted to tick off my ‘life to-do’ list in my early 20s. But for the next phase of my life, I relocated to Sheffield.
Sheffield is a fantastic city to live in. There are enough bars and restaurants to wine and dine me. I can keep my culture side satisfied with museums and exhibitions. Shopping? Meadowhall has that covered. And I can easily trot off for a trek in the Peak District. It’s more peaceful, clean and friendly.
Career-wise? When I moved from London, far from taking a pay-cut, I ended up giving myself a promotion. So for me, Sheffield has it all. But is Sheffield enough for students and young people once they start their working life? Sheffield has one of the highest retention rates of students post graduation. We must be doing something right!
I’m passionate about the northern business community and love to see it thrive. I believe keeping talent from universities is a major factor, as the holes the students leave behind could be filled with so much potential. So I hope Sheffield continues its strong offering for young people – for both career and leisure activities – to ensure they stay on or return after their few years of playing in London.
Let’s ensure we invest in our education and businesses – we’ve nurtured the talent, so let’s keep it here. Then we’ll see the development of our students into the leaders of tomorrow.