GUEST POST by Jennifer Acton
With studies showing plummeting salaries and the job market spluttering to a near halt, you may well be wondering if the grass is greener overseas. You wouldn’t be alone – a surprising number of the British population are packing their suitcases and booking the international moving companies. In fact, Home Office figures show that almost three quarters of those leaving the UK last year, left to pursue work abroad.
These shocking figures defy the commonly-held retiree stereotype of expats, with the vast majority of British people emigrating of working age (around 86%). According to a Lloyds TSB survey, almost half of British workers leaving the country are thought to be in professional or managerial roles. Low wages, poor weather and uninspiring job prospects have all been blamed for this exodus of UK workers, dubbed a national ‘brain drain’ by the media.
But how rosy are overseas job prospects, really? Well, according to Lloyds TSB data, not bad at all. Surveys suggest over two-thirds of UK expats now living and working abroad are now on higher salaries than back at home. Read the following country-profiles for an in-depth look at the three most popular UK expat destinations:
With better weather and a wealth of beautiful national parks, the US can seem like an ideal option for jaded UK citizens. The general cost of living in America is fairly similar to the UK, but can be cheaper dependant on your location. Taxes are lower and the cost of food tends to be cheaper than in Britain. Visas are extremely strict in the US, with no option for a working holiday visa. You will need proof of a job offer in order to even apply for an American visa.
Canada is the world’s second-largest country, and has much to offer for the British expat. The country has gorgeous scenery with an outdoorsy lifestyle and everyone has access to high-quality healthcare, meaning you won’t get homesick for the NHS. The country has one of the highest immigration rates in the world, with their immigration service actively looking to attract around 250,000 new residents per year. In order to get a visa, you need to prove you will boost the economy which is calculated through criteria including age and occupation.
Ever a popular choice for UK expats looking to escape the gloomy weather, Australia offers a wealth of opportunities for skilled workers. Nearly half of all Britons moving overseas long-term relocate to Australia, the country’s glorious coastlines and uninhabited open spaces doubtlessly a deciding factor. There are a variety of visas available for those who want to move down under for work, ranging from visas for those with required occupations (including engineers and special needs teachers) to business migration (for entrepreneurs and investors). The Aussie economy is also in a much healthier state than the UK, reporting only one quarter of negative growth during the recent global recession.
Although expats report missing the little things about the UK, such as Marmite and Sunday roasts, better career progression is certainly a tempting prospect for frustrated UK job-hunters. With surveys suggesting that the British job market is unlikely to recover any time soon, waking up to sunnier, more economically stable, skies is an option many will find hard to ignore.
Jennifer Acton is a recent graduate and experienced blogger, writing on behalf of Abels international moving companies