Milton Keynes must halt 'brain drain' of talent says mayor Sam Crooks

Young people vital to technology businesses that will boost city's growth

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:43 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 5:46 am
Mayor Sam Crooks believes young people are vital to the city's growth

Milton Keynes needs to rein in a brain drain of talent if it is to continue to grow, according to the mayor, councillor Sam Crooks.

“We have good people but they move out of the city to go to university – and don’t come back,” he said.

Addressing an audience of more than 30 at the Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership at MK Gallery,

Cllr Crooks said the city needed to create a strong educational pipeline to encourage younger people to stay.

“Milton Keynes acts as an escalator,” he said, highlighting its contribution to Silicon Valley – the Oxford to Cambridge Arc that will be a hub of AI and technological businesses.

“We have good people in our secondary schools, but they move out. We are effectively exporting our talent elsewhere.

“We need to retain that talent within Milton Keynes to sustain and fuel our growth.”

The overriding need for Milton Keynes to grow is widely accepted, particularly as the city’s population is set to almost double within the next 30 years from around 270,000 to 500,000.

Cllr Crooks defined the rationale behind the growth strategy, saying: “MK Futures 2050 was not commissioned to double the size of Milton Keynes and hope people come in from the outside.

“We have to face up to the fact that we need to provide housing for our children and our grandchildren.

“Sixty per cent of the new houses and flats built will be for the children of families already here.”