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Millennials lose interest in London as many seek entrepreneurial culture of SMEs

3 min read

09 September 2015

Former deputy editor

It's the general consensus that London has more career opportunities, but regardless of that, many millennials are looking outside of the UK capital to focus on securing posts in their hometowns and with SMEs.

Research in August found that London’s SMEs are looking to millennials for future business growth and success, with 18 per cent of business owners hoping youngsters will eventually take on the mantle of leader to carry the firm forward.

The desire for fresh faces born between the early eighties and late nineties is in a bid to generate new ideas, win digital skills and a different outlook.

However, research from Lloyds Bank has found that a majority 51 per cent of millennials have no interest in moving to London, claiming that regardless of the location they would move anywhere for the right job.

Creature comforts and familiarity are a factor in the decision as 35 per cent said they don’t want to move away from home, while just eight per cent said the capital is the only place they intend to work.

And while 46 per cent of respondents want to work for a large firm, small firms were close behind in the popularity contest and named the desired workplace of choice among 41 per cent.

Read more on millennial workers:

Just 13 per cent were indifferent to the size of the business, but 85 per cent of those wanting to work for an SME chose the small option because they feel it would provide working conditions more in line with their desires than a larger counterpart.

“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 Paul Evans, area director, SME Banking, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Other findings showed that salary was the number one factor to win over millennials at 49 per cent, followed by flexible hours and career development opportunities, which both secured 35 per cent.

Elsewhere, 28 per cent desire training opportunities, 25 per cent want a benefits package and 22 per cent want to work from home – again highlighting the importance of creature comforts and a work-life balance among the demographic. With all of these among the factors, location fell into seventh place on millennials’ hot list.

“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,” Evans continued.

“SMEs may need to invest and be willing to change their working practices to remain attractive, which can seem daunting, but they don’t need to go it alone. They should speak to their bank or a local mentoring network for guidance on attracting and investing in the young talent they need to successfully grow their business.”