A survey of its youngest members and students conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has revealed that more young people living in major cities in the north of England are satisfied in their current role than in London.
The poll of over 2,000 professionals under the age of 36 in the UK reflects the availability of great career opportunities in the north. More young professionals in the north (16%) felt that there were no barriers to career progression at their current organisation compared to Londoners (12%).
“At present, there is still a perception among many young professionals that career opportunities in the northern region are less valuable than opportunities in the south,” said ACCA head John Williams.
“Boosting economic growth in the north of England through initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse is a key economic strategy for the UK government and improving the attractiveness of the region in terms of career opportunities is crucial if this is to be achieved in the long term.
“The perception that there is a lack of career opportunities in the north is hugely damaging to its overall attractiveness. 16% of young people in the north of England work in large corporate firms with over £2.4 billion turnover, similar to those from London (17%) showcasing that there are fantastic career opportunities in the north as well as in the south of England.
“We surveyed over 500 British adults aged 20-25 about their attitudes around careers and jobs in northern England earlier this year in our ‘Careers in the Corporate Sector’ research. 41% believe corporate careers are London focussed, while 49% said a city in another country was a more attractive place to work than UK cities outside of London. The north is failing to attract a vital supply of finance professionals who will underpin the success of the region in the future. ”
Across the UK, accountants and finance professionals are playing an increasingly important role in business success: not just in the traditional functions of reporting and audit, but also as strategic business advisers. Those equipped with such an in-demand skillset should see the possibilities of applying their experience in positions outside of London as they offer a good quality of life in addition to career growth.
“In the north of England, the challenge ahead for employers large and small is to make sure that they provide the flexible work environment and clear path for progression to attract and retain the best talent of the next generation.”