Lisburn councillor Robbie Butler has called on the City Council and Stormont “to join forces and do more to encourage graduates from the constituency to remain in Lagan Valley”.
“With the new Council and Assembly sessions well underway,” he said, “I will work to see more young graduates from the constituency returning to Northern Ireland to work rather than remaining in other parts of the United Kingdom or working abroad.”
Councillor Butler said it was “vitally important” not just to the future development of business and industry within Lagan Valley, but across the whole of Northern Ireland that a policy was implemented “to reverse the brain-drain and retain the Province’s talent”.
“To achieve this, a series of policies will have to be implemented,” he said. “These must include targets to reduce the ‘brain drain’, increase undergraduate retention and the return to the Ulster labour market of Ulster-based students living in Great Britain.
“There must also be a review of how our local universities and colleges are promoted in Northern Ireland schools, together with an Executive commitment to ensure that Ulster’s higher education institutions can compete with those in the rest of the United Kingdom.
“Tackling the brain-drain also requires a targeted expansion of student places to ensure an increasing number of places for our home-grown talent.”