Over a quarter of Brits ‘would consider emigrating for jobs’

Some 27 per cent of Britons would consider moving country to get a better job, according to new research.

Some 27 per cent of Britons would consider moving country to get a better job, according to new research.

The GfK International Employee Study, a new international report from GfK Custom Research, said the UK figure was higher than the average for the 17 countries it surveyed. The average was 25% who said they would be willing to move to another country to find better employment.

The study found that  young, qualified employees are most likely to want to leave their country for work: two fifths (41 per cent) of workers aged 18-29 agreed they are willing to move countries to find a better job, while that figure is one in three for degree holders (32 per cent) and nearly one in four for PhD holders (37 per cent). This is compared to just a fifth of employees educated to secondary-school level (22 per cent).

Dr Ingrid Feinstein at GfK Switzerland said: "Our findings indicate a risk of ‘brain drain’ in the coming year, posing significant problems for companies and countries looking to recover from the downturn. Both blue collar and white collar workers show a quarter of their number willing to look overseas for work, and that figure rises for the higher educated workers. Crucially, a third of people in R&D roles are also willing to look overseas – the very roles that many countries identify as key to recovery."

The findings show that Central and Southern America look set to be the hardest hit of the markets covered. Nearly six in 10 Mexican employees (57 per cent), half of Colombia’s workforce (52 per cent) and two fifths of staff in Brazil and Peru (41 and 38 per cent respectively) are ready to look across borders for better careers.

But the trend is far from limited to developing markets. Turkey was in 3rd place with 46 per cent; Hungary was in 7th place (33 per cent), followed by Russia (29 per cent) and – coming in with 9th equal – were Portugal and the UK with 27 per cent each.

Even in the US and Canada a fifth of workers say that they are ready to move countries to find a better job, at 21 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

The survey also showed more than one in four workers intended to leave their employers within 12 months.

Of those, one in three is already actively looking for a new job (35 per cent) and one in five (18 per cent) looking to move in the next six months. Just eight per cent of employees are looking to wait until the economy is more secure. 

Dr Feinstein added:  "The findings highlight just how globalised and fluid the labour market has become in many countries.

The truth remains that, for many employees, moving country is no more daunting than moving company. Companies looking to recruit, engage and retain the best staff need to compete, not just will rivals in their own nations and markets, but from right around the world.

The research also reveals that employees in multinational organisations are those most likely to look elsewhere. This suggests that allowing employees to work overseas is not just a perk but a valuable retention tool.”





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