Research by employment web site TrackMeBack revealed many Australians and New Zealanders believe they have better job and financial prospects back home than in the UK – so are packing their bags and heading south.
Migration statistics from Britain’s Home Office back the claim – showing the number of Australians coming to the UK for a job is down 35%, while the number of New Zealanders has slumped 40%.
“Many expats left home 10 years ago with a backpack thinking they’d be gone for six months. People are now returning home because there are better job opportunities and the economic outlook is more positive,” said Caroline Rafferty, the site’s general manager.
Better jobs in Australia and New Zealand
The New Zealand and Australian economies are growing at an average 3% compared with recession in the UK and the eurozone.
The job site discovered that expats started heading home three years ago when the eurozone economic crisis started.
Many of the expats heading home are skilled workers with a degree and at least 10 years professional experience.
They are taking jobs in mining, human resources, engineering, energy, digital media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, trades, construction and insurance.
TrackMeBack said expects more expats to return home in the coming months, especially for construction jobs as the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, is rebuilt after earthquakes.
Expat job seekers tripled
“We’ve more than tripled our business since 2010, with a huge number of expats returning home from the UK in particular,” Rafferty said.
“There’s obviously a lot of buzz around jobs in the mining and resources industries but we’re also seeing a steady growth in demand for candidates in sectors such as insurance, healthcare, management consulting and digital media so they’re definitely ones to watch in the coming year.
‘When you combine a stalling European economy with tighter UK visa restrictions for Australian and Kiwi migrants the case for returning home is pretty compelling for a lot expats.”
1 in 6 Aussie expats were born in UK
Meanwhile, a new report confirms more than a million of the 6 million expats living in Australia,were born in Britain.
The next largest group was those from New Zealand, followed by China, India and Vietnam, says the Australian Board of Statistics.
However, the proportion of Australian residents born in the UK has dropped from 5.8% of the population in 2001 to 5.3% in 2011, while the proportions increased for people born in New Zealand (from 2.0% to 2.5%), China (from 0.8% to 1.8%) and India (from 0.5% to 1.5%).
In 2011, expats moved to the most populated states: New South Wales with a net of 50,200 persons, followed by Victoria (45,700 persons) and Queensland (31,300 persons). The Northern Territory had the lowest contribution with a net of 630 persons.