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Attendees at the last Merton Business Leaders Forum met in June to discuss the challenges they face on recruitment and retention, particularly in relation to millennials (ages 24-37) at an event hosted by Morrison’s Solicitors, and organised by Merton Chamber of Commerce in association with Love Wimbledon BID.
Jon Boys, Labour Market Economist for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, whose UK Head Office is based in Wimbledon Broadway, set out the context for the discussions:
- The number of millennials is falling and Merton has a lower number of millennials than Central London. The closer we go to Central London, the younger the age profile
- The earnings premium in London averages around 23% higher than the rest of the country. The premium would easily be eaten up by the higher accommodation and living costs in London
- Despite perceptions, young people in work today are more loyal than ever before and move around less than in the past
- People are transitioning into work much later than in the past
- We have the lowest unemployment rate for year
- More and more graduates stay in the area where they went to university or where they live.
All of these factors mean the labour market in London is tight, making recruitment more difficult.
Attendees agreed that perceptions of both businesses and of the localities they are based in is key. So, although a place like Wimbledon might be highly attractive for families – good schools, green spaces, good housing – for a younger generation the high housing costs that come with these will be a constraint. Wimbledon and its surrounding areas are very attractive so, if businesses are attractive to work for, then the barriers to recruitment will reduce.
Attendees also agreed that the importance of trust in colleagues as well as the ethics and core values of the business are really important to staff – people want to have a good experience at work and need to believe in the purpose of the company.
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