Chair of the RSA growth commission and former Goldman Sachs banker Jim O’Neill has called for “golden handcuffs” to keep students in towns and cities where they study and prevent them from moving to London when they graduate.
The plan calls for local business groups to offer students financial incentives to stay put, including paying off some of their student loan in return for a number of years service. The plans also advocate ReFreshers weeks, with universities offering advice to keep graduates in the local area.
The report by the Royal Society for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce (RSA), out today, aims to tackle the brain drain – where talented graduates gravitate towards London when they leave university. The process damages local economies, which struggle to recruit talented staff, especially in startup companies.
O’Neill, who is chair of the RSA growth commission, commented: “Surely it would be sensible to consider pursuing a number of initiatives to either help or encourage graduates to stay in the metro areas where they graduate, as a key ingredient to helping these cities prosper.”