Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns last night blamed a lack of opportunities for the “brain drain” of Wales’ university graduates.
Data published yesterday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) revealed that of those who found work in 2010-11, 75% of Welsh university students got jobs in Wales.
The rest were employed in England, where the starting graduate salary was up to £3,000 higher.
By comparison, 98% of English graduates and 86% of Scottish graduates who gained employment did so in their own countries.
Ms Burns, Conservative AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said: “This taxpayer-subsidised ‘brain drain’ is symptomatic of a lack of opportunities for young people in parts of Wales.
“Over 13 years of successive Labour governments, not enough action has been taken in many Welsh communities to nurture economic growth and create jobs.
“Welsh ministers could make more job opportunities available to graduates by promoting entrepreneurship in the education system, abolishing business rates for small businesses and improving Wales’ poor levels of inward investment.”
Yesterday’s report is the latest in a long line to have raised fears over Wales’ apparent brain drain to other UK nations.
Earlier this year, data compiled by academics at Cardiff and Swansea universities found that Wales has lower retention rates – with regards to both the proportion of students studying and staying to find work in Wales – than anywhere else in the UK.