For quite some time, the younger generation has been drawn to London like moths to a flame. The offer of higher wages and life in the big city has seen millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – descend on the capital in their droves. However, according to new research from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, this ‘brain drain’ of millennials to London appears to be slowing, with more young people recognising the appeal of smaller firms regardless of location.
The research found that relocating to London is not on the agenda for over half of millennials, who said they would be happy to move anywhere for the right job. While over a third said they didn’t want to move away from home, less than a tenth insisted they will only work in London.
Indeed, location only ranked seventh on the list of factors that would attract millennials to a business. Salary came out on top, with 49% of millennials saying it was an important factor, and this was followed by flexible hours, which was cited by 35% of respondents, and career development opportunities, which attracted the same percentage. Meanwhile, training opportunities, a benefits packages and an option to work from home were cited by 28%, 25% and 22% of millennials respectively.
While almost half of millennials said they would rather work for a large business, 41% said they’d rather work for an SME. And, of those millennials who favoured working for a small firm, 85% said they think a smaller business is better placed than a larger one to offer them the working conditions they want.
“Our research shows that the vaunted ‘brain drain’ to the capital — where the brightest young minds abandon their home towns to seek opportunities in London — isn’t as evident as previously thought,” said Gareth Oakley, managing director of SME Banking at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. “Millennials no longer see SMEs as being the poor relation of international corporations. Instead they value their entrepreneurial culture, which they see as being supportive, creative and full of opportunity to take on responsibility.”
London calling? Evidently not.