Long Reads

Brain drain: Why the exodus of graduates from Northern Ireland must be stopped

Richhill is a quiet enclave in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. With a population size of about 3,000, the modest village has what could be deemed the essentials: the local chippy, a convenience store, a doctor’s surgery, a pub or two and a smattering of churches.

Unless, like James Brown, you’re a young person desperate to see more of the world and seek out new opportunities.

Brown was itching to leave Richhill, where he grew up. “There’s no jobs for what I want to do in Northern Ireland, so I kind of had to move away,” he says. The 21-year-old is in his third year at the London School of Economics, studying actuarial science. He already has a job lined up with an actuarial firm in the capital when he graduates.


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