30 June 2008

"Boomerang migrants" leaving UK for a safer Australian economy

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Australian migrants have been leaving the UK at rates far surpassing previous years, reports the Times, leaving London with a "brain drain".

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures showing last year Australia’s population grew at its fastest rate since 1988.  Of this population increase, 56 per cent is accounted for by immigrants.  10 per cent of these immigrants, or around 31,000 people per year, are Australians returning home from the UK. The Times says this is a 50 per cent increase since the credit crunch last summer.  

206,000 British citizens emigrated last year, many of which were on Australian visas or Australian working visas looking to settle in the country.  This is a 45 per cent increase since 2002.  In 2007, only half the amount of Australians applied for a working holiday visa to the UK than in 2002.  With 2,600 Australians returning home each month and British citizens keenly following, the UK is quickly being left behind with a “brain drain”, claims the news provider, and an imbalanced flow of migration.

An analysis from the Economic Research Institute claims the increased cost of living in the UK is driving migrants back to their homelands.  Australians particularly are finding the cheaper cost of living, strong economy, and climate more enticing at home than earning pounds in London.  

The Institute claims the cost of living for a middle-class family of three in London has risen by over £2000 in the past four months to £38,880 per year.  This is compared with £32,706 per year in Sydney.  The price of staple food has risen by 60 per cent in the UK and petrol prices by 22 per cent.  The Australian dollar also hit an 11-year high against the pound, meaning the money earned in the UK is no longer carrying the same weight for Australian migrants.

Jason Cartwright, Director of Link Recruitment, thinks the growth in numbers of "boomerang migrants" may impact the London economy more than anticipated now Australians make up a large sector of the City’s financial services.  "In the UK’s financial services sector, hiring freezes are increasingly common – but opportunities are abound in the Australian market.  There is also belief that Australia is a safer bet while the credit crunch runs its course," he told the newspaper.

The Australian Government recently announced an increase in the quota for Australian visas and Australian working visas to fill labour and skills shortages with immigrant workers and young travellers.  

Anyone interested in applying for an Australian working visa should confirm their eligibility by taking Visa Bureau’s online assessment .

Australia needs skilled workers: anyone interested in migrating to Australia should complete an online assessment to see if they qualify for skilled migration to Australia.

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