As I’m looking at regional information, let’s take a look at a way of examining information that I haven’t used yet.
One of the issues we have is that jobs are not distributed evenly around the country. If you’re looking for work and, say, you’re a computing graduate looking for a job in software design, and you’re from (sticks a pin in a map)….Stoke, what are your options? Where might you find a job?
Now, this is especially important for many young people, particularly those from less affluent parts of the country, because their options can seem quite limited – stay at home and seek work there even though there might not be very much, or look nationally and take a risk on moving somewhere with higher housing costs (they might not even be really affordable) even though you might not know the local labour market. It’s a tough choice.
But DLHE can help here, because it gives us an idea of where people went for their first job.
Let’s take a look at one especially tricky area at the moment – environment and conservation work. Only 360 graduates from last year were known to be working in a job of this nature (I have kept the criteria pretty narrow, so there are probably more in reality) six months after graduation. We could look at that entire selection, but there's one thing we need to do first.
Our graduate would like to get paid. The environmental sector has rather a lot of unpaid work, but we still have 220 graduates who got a paid job, so let's look at them only.
As we can see from this graph, the opportunities for last year's graduates are not evenly distributed. Whilst this is one profession where a move to London is not likely to reap instant rewards, our Stoke graduate (in the West Midlands) might find more opportunities away from home - perhaps as far as Scotland or Wales - or even out of Europe entirely.
Let's focus down further, though. Scotland looks a pretty reasonable bet to get a paid job in the environment. But Scotland's big. Where should our graduate look?
Well, examining the data, it looks like there are three potential places that might currently work best - Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Angus on the East Coast of Scotland.
If our Stoke graduate wanted to stay nearer to home, looking west to Shropshire might be more fruitful than staying within Stoke itself, and it does look as if there might be some opportunities in Staffordshire.
This is an approach we don't normally take in HECSU when we examine destination data - working backwards from the roles people might want to do, but with people finding local options to be limited, maybe it's something we can do a little more of.