Graduates whose first job is outside London are likely to earn up to £10,000 less than their peers who move to London, according to new figures.

The survey, carried out by the Graduates Yorkshire and West Midlands-based Graduate Advantage, questioned a range of regional employers on their recruitment habits.

The results found that a majority (86%) of the firms questioned paid graduates a starting salary between £15,000-£18,000 – that’s up to 40% less than the ‘nationwide’ average.

These numbers are at odds with the findings of the Associate of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), which earlier this year reported that the average graduate starting salary was £25,000 across the UK.

While £25,000 may be the ‘nationwide’ average starting salary, these latest figures show the true extent of the pay gap between graduates in the capital and outside London. It seems that ‘London weighting’ – whereby companies pay workers in the capital slightly more than elsewhere to reflect the higher cost of living – has an enormous impact on graduate salaries.

Despite the lower regional salaries, there was some good news for graduates living outside London. Nearly two-thirds of the firms surveyed had recruited a grad in the last year and more than half (56%) said that they would recruit a graduate in the next 12 months.

But worrying it seems that graduate recruiters value your degree class less than you might hope. Despite all your hard work at university, only 1.5% of the firms questioned said that academic results were most important when recruiting. The majority of the firms questioned (74%) said that ‘a positive attitude’ and ’employability skills’ were the most important attributes for graduates.

Graduate Fog hopes that this need for ’employability skills’ doesn’t mean graduate employers expect applicants to have completed lengthy (unpaid?) internships before they will consider your application for a graduate role…

*Is it fair that London graduates are paid so much more?
Would you consider moving to the capital to find better-paid work? And, if you live in London, does your experience confirm that the average starting salary there is £25,000?

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