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      Quantifying Human Capital

      One of the most extraordinary successes of the Arc’s ‘Triple Helix’ lies in an unparalleled ability to retain and pull in talented individuals into the region.

      18 Feb 2022 Julie Archer, Director of People and Change, Bidwells

      Positive relationships with an immediate locality, whether born from friendships made in formative years or through community ties and industry networks, are critical when making the decision of where to put down roots for the future.

      In a recent study from Liberty Living, 77% of graduates in Cambridge cited ‘networking opportunities’ as a primary driver for keeping them in the city. Research from UC Berkeley on ‘vortex universities’ describes this positive effect on innovation ecosystems where these influences are most frequently strongest: “students matriculate, learn, contribute to the campus ecosystem, and graduate… then many of these alumni stay in the vicinity of the campus to work and live.”

      Attracting and retaining talent sharpened in the Arc empowers the region and pushes the frontier of innovation further.

      The ‘stickiness’ of towns and cities like Oxford, Cambridge, and Bedford is already evident in the changing composition of professional occupations. Milton Keynes ranks in the UK’s top 5 for concentration of high tech and digital SMEs, while the town is now home to over 10,000 software and data engineers which is more than double what it was five years ago.

      Despite the region’s highly educated young population, barriers to human capital formation still pose unassailable limits to the Arc’s growth in the long-term. In Oxford and Cambridge house prices are over 10-times average earnings and housing formation rates are some of the lowest in the country, while regional transport links are poor when measured against better integrated knowledge clusters that have achieved a far greater geographical scale.

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      If we want to harness our pool of human capital and actively cultivate it within the Arc, we’ll have to level the playing field for future generations both domestically and internationally. The ‘Arc’ in its truest sense must be more than an expression, but a commitment to elevating the opportunities available to form meaningful bonds with its ecosystem.
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      Creating a Talent Pipeline to Supercharge the Arc

      In the third instalment of our webinar series with the Arc Universities Group and CBI, we will be discussing how to create a talent pipeline for the future, to supercharge the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

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