Why Brits Want To Move Abroad To Work

Global cities tend to have large expat populations – from the waiter on your table at lunch to the senior executive you report to at work.

New research has looked at the lifestyle and work expectations of thousands of these expats – including Britons who want to move overseas and those who have already made the jump.

The study, by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has combined the results in to a top 10 list of why British workers would want to move abroad – and found that in all but one category British would-be expats match the global average.

That one category is the weather. The survey found 37% of Brits w2ould move just to live in a better climate, against a global average of 18% – then a great deal of expats already live in a better climate than the UK before they move.

Top 10 reasons to become an expat

So here are the top 10 reasons why the British move overseas to work:

  • Improved life experience – 64% (Global average 65%)
  • In response to an attractive job offer – 56% (58%)
  • For more challenges in life – 56% (53%)
  • Experiencing cultural diversity – 55% (54%)
  • Improving works skills and qualifications – 51% (65%)
  • Seeking better career prospects – 51% (59%)
  • Making new friends and contacts – 49% (45%)
  • To enjoy a better standard of living – 49% (55%)
  • To earn more money – 44% (56%)
  • For better weather – 37% (18%)

Although around 5 million Britons are expats, the researchers found that only 44% of British workers would consider moving overseas.

Only Americans have less of a taste for moving overseas (35%) out of a sample that interviewed more than 200,000 workers from 189 countries.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those working in the least politically or economically stable countries were readier to move.

Most and least attractive expat jobs

For instance, around 97% of Pakistanis would gladly leave home for better prospects abroad.

In Europe, the number willing to become expats is almost as high in The Netherlands and France (94%), which are both languishing in a financial slump.

Engineers and workers in IT and communications are more mobile than many, with seven out of 10 ready to consider job offers from abroad.

“These are jobs that need filling by specialists in just about every country, so posts come with a premium salary,” said a BCG spokesman.

“The least rewarding jobs for expats tend to be in medicine and social work. The jobs tend to be vocational rather than highly paid and half or less of workers in these fields said they would move countries for work.”

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