Britain at risk of brain drain

Some 7.6 million British workers are willing to move overseas to improve their job prospects, research finds.

The GfK International Employee Engagement Study reveals that more than a quarter of British workers are willing to move country to find a better job (27 per cent), driven by a desire to escape the UK’s soaring cost of living and static wages.

The young and highly qualified are most likely to feel this workplace wanderlust, with more than two thirds (36 per cent) of workers aged 18-29 saying they are willing to move countries to find a better job.

The figure is almost one in three for degree holders (31 per cent) and nearly two in five for people with postgraduate qualifications (38 per cent). This is compared to just one fifth of employees educated to secondary school level (23 per cent).

Almost 6.5 million (23 per cent) are looking to change employer in the next year.

Sukhi Ghataore, director at GfK NOP Engage says, ‘Our findings indicate Britain has a risk of ‘brain drain’ in the coming year, posing significant problems for companies looking to recover from the downturn.

‘Even if only a fraction of those who are considering a move abroad do it, UK businesses will face a significant loss of talent, just at the time they most need it.’

Internationally, more than a quarter of the workforce in countries questioned (27 per cent) is willing to move to another country to find better employment.

Central and Southern America look set to be the hardest hit of the markets covered, with nearly six in ten 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) ready to look across borders for better careers.

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