WISERD WPS 005

This research report explores Welsh graduate mobility. It seeks to establish the extent towhich Wales retains its graduate labour in employment; to estimate the labour marketoutcomes for ‘Welsh’ graduates (i.e. those born in Wales) and to investigate whether andhow these may change and what factors may become more significant over time. In sodoing, the report focuses on analysing the location and employment outcomes of successive’young’ graduate cohorts since the 1992 expansion of Higher Education. It does this byaugmenting the widely used graduate first destinations data produced by the HigherEducation Statistics Agency (HESA) with detailed analysis of Labour Force Survey (LFS)and Annual Population Survey (APS) data to provide new insights into the patterns of andreturns to graduate mobility. The report finds that whilst Wales is a net loser of graduateseach year, notions of a clear and unequivocal ‘brain drain’ are too simplistic. Instead, we findcomplex patterns of graduate mobility which reflect the complex push and pull forcesshaping graduate movements and their evolution with graduate life cycles. These findingshave a number of implications for economic development and Higher Education (HE) policy.