Belfast Telegraph

English grads living in Northern Ireland earn lowest wages

Discussions: Chris Skidmore
Discussions: Chris Skidmore

By Aine Fox

Graduates who studied in England but now live in Northern Ireland earn less than fellow students who stayed there, according to new figures.

Graduates across England earn around 20% more than their peers who did not go to university, the Department for Education also said.

The highest earners outside London are in the South East and East of the country.

While the lowest graduate wages are in the North East, they are still paid some £3,600 more than non-graduates in the same region.

The figures - for April 2016 to March 2017 - show the benefits of a degree-level education for people across the country, Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said, as the department released a regional earnings breakdown for the first time.

Graduates in London earned a median annual salary of £31,300, while non-graduates - defined as people who achieved five A*-Cs at GCSE but did not go on to complete a degree-level qualification - earned £26,200.

The greatest difference in earnings was in the South West of England, at 22.2% more for graduates, giving them a wage of £24,800.

Graduates living in London continue to have the highest earnings across the UK 10 years after graduating, the department said.

Wages are lowest for people who went to English universities but currently live in Northern Ireland, with average starting salaries of £17,900 rising to £25,500 10 years on.

Mr Skidmore said: "I am delighted to see graduates across the country are reaping the rewards of going to university through sustained employment and higher salaries, which in turn benefits their local economies.

"Discussions about graduate outcomes and earnings should not simply focus on the major cities, so I hope this data will play a key role in highlighting the benefits and the potential that higher education can bring to graduates and regions in the whole country."

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