Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Place to Be

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's the Place to Be

Article excerpt

North-East England has changed ( no longer is it reliant on the heavy industries of the 20th Century. The region is evolving into a thriving, knowledge-based economy.

In line with the growth of this modern economy, the number of graduates entering the North-East workforce is on the increase. With five successful universities and many more high-performing colleges and schools, the doors are wide open to welcome the post-graduate workforce.

One NorthEast director of communications Stacy Hall said: "It is fantastic that so many students decide to stay in the North-East once they have graduated.

"North-East England is attracting more people than ever before, with more people moving to the region than away from it, which is hardly surprising when you consider the high-profile regeneration projects we have seen through and the amount of inward investment we currently enjoy." The scale and profile of the region's higher education student population is also changing.

In 2001/02, 4,500 graduates entered the North-East workforce and 62% were graduates from the region.

The number of North-East students leaving the region to study decreased by 9% from 4,915 in 1997/98 to 4,460 in 2002/03. Compared to the other English regions (except London), a higher proportion of students choose not to leave the region to study.

There has been an increase of 31% of students from our region staying here once they have achieved their qualifications.

Figures like these show we have successfully stopped the perceived "brain drain" of academics leaving our region to work in the South-East, said Stacy. We must now focus our attentions on bringing new people into the region and keeping them here.

One significant factor is that the proportion of new business survivals is higher than it has been for many years. In fact, during 2003 the North-East was the most active region outside of London for `hi-tech' business start-ups.

One NorthEast chief executive Alan Clarke said: "The cultural and economic landscape of North-East England has changed dramatically in the last few years.

"We are no longer behind the rest of the country when it comes to the regional economies of the UK. Unemployment levels are moving closer to the national average and many of the region's traditionally poorer hubs are undergoing an economic renaissance on the back of extensive regeneration projects.

"We also have the prospect of Science City and the Northern Design Centre, which will help forge links between cutting-edge private sector companies and the universities, opening up employment opportunities for graduates."

North-East England has also launched a major awareness-raising campaign to tell the world about its innovative businesses and people, its strengths and its distinctiveness. …

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