Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 19-03-2013

British workers turn to overseas jobs market as UK wages fail to keep up with inflation

by Lloyds TSB International

British workers turn to overseas jobs market as UK wages fail to keep up with inflation • Isle of Man offers many relocators better lifestyle than the UK: 88 per cent of respondents agree;

• Nearly one third (30 per cent) of British relocators have moved abroad for work; up from 27 per cent in February 2012;  

• British relocators earn more working overseas: 68 per cent of people who have moved abroad for work earn more than they did in the UK;

• Financial situation for British relocators increasingly positive abroad: 79 per cent of respondents who moved abroad for work now feel better off financially;

• Relocators feel safer on the Isle of Man: 93 per cent agree that they feel safer in their current Manx neighbourhood than in their previous UK neighbourhood;
 
An increasing number of British workers are turning their attention towards overseas jobs markets, with many looking towards the Isle of Man’s financial services and eGaming sectors.  According to the latest research from Lloyds TSB International (which includes those living in the Isle of Man) some 30 per cent of UK relocators moved abroad for a career opportunity, up from 27 per cent since February 2012, in a sign that more and more people are starting to recognise the benefits of overseas work.

One reason for the shift may be the challenging UK economic environment. Over the past 18 months, the UK economy has been broadly flat. The level of unemployment has stubbornly remained at about 2.5 million since mid-2009 and, while inflation remained steady at 2.7 per cent for the fourth consecutive month in January, pay has struggled to keep pace.  Average earnings growth was 1.5 per cent in November 2012.

In stark contrast, the research from Lloyds TSB International revealed that more than two thirds of respondents (68 per cent) who moved abroad as part of a work assignment said that they now earn more in their current country of residence than they did in the UK.  This is up from February 2012, when 54 per cent of respondents stated that they were earning more.  In fact, well over three quarters (79 per cent) of respondents who moved abroad for a career opportunity said that they now feel better off financially, compared with just 67 per cent who made the same claim in February 2012.  On the Isle of Man, 47 per cent of respondents cited a better career opportunity as one of the key reasons for moving while 19 per cent were drawn to the Island due to its offering a more relaxed way of life.

While an increasing number of people who moved abroad for a career opportunity were attracted by a higher salary (44 per cent; compared with 35 per cent 12 months ago), the research reveals that lifestyle factors are more decisive in encouraging people to move overseas. The opportunity to gain different life experiences and the chance to give their family a higher quality of life are jointly the most popular reasons to move abroad with 48 per cent of respondents selecting each option. 67 per cent of those who relocated to the Isle of Man, for example, did so because they felt better off financially than they did in the UK and over half (52 per cent) felt they also had more leisure time.

Shared language is clearly an important factor influencing the movement of the global workforce, with the majority of UK relocators moving abroad for work having relocated to the USA (17 per cent), followed by Canada (16 per cent) and Australia (12 per cent). Of those who have moved abroad for a work assignment, the majority are based in the technology field (10 per cent), closely followed by those working in manufacturing (8 per cent) and financial services (8 per cent).   Surprisingly though, the greatest concentration of technology jobs are based in Germany, while for manufacturing the greatest concentration of roles is in South Africa. Britons moving to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man for their career are more likely to work in financial services than any other industry, at a rate of 33 per cent in Jersey and Guernsey and 26 per cent in the Isle of Man.

As Richard Musty, Lloyds TSB International Private Bank Director, said: “In today’s difficult employment market there is a trend for people to relocate to different countries for work.  The financial services and manufacturing industries, both of which have been impacted by a challenging economic climate, stand out in terms of the number of people moving abroad for work. However, employers seem to be aware of the challenges and it’s encouraging to see the extent to which they are prepared to help facilitate the move. Significantly, 55 per cent of our respondents were offered a moving allowance, with a further 50 per cent offered help with housing costs and 43 per cent flights home.”

Despite the large numbers of employers who were prepared to offer additional incentives when transferring members of their workforce overseas, the research revealed some areas where expats felt they could have been offered support. Less than one third (31 per cent) of those who moved abroad for a career opportunity were offered transition services relating to financial advice, with a further 47 per cent saying that they would have benefited from more transition services in their move. Additionally, 37 per cent of respondents said that they would have benefited from more financial advice regarding their investments, while 33 per cent would have liked more advice on pensions and 29 per cent would have liked more advice on tax issues when they moved abroad. Despite these figures, however, 82 per cent of respondents say they are happy with their decision to move to the Isle of Man.

Richard added: “While the global employment market remains in a state of flux it’s essential that when people are moving specifically for a work assignment, they are offered the necessary levels of advice and support to ensure a smooth transition.  For example, providing guidance around finances before people emigrate will ensure they have flexibility and access to their money internationally.

“It is more important than ever that people are equipped with the right tools and information to maximise the benefits of a higher salary and greater financial stability which come with working overseas and, as more and more people look at career opportunities abroad, we need to ensure that more is being done to close the gap.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a survey of 1,089 British relocators based in popular expat destinations: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, Spain, UAE, USA. The survey was conducted online by Freshminds in December 2012.
 
Photo - Richard Musty

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