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Britain’s lost talent: 60% of UK migrants leaving to find jobs

New statistics show that over 60% of UK migrants are leaving the country to find paid work overseas.

A study by i-to-i on graduates teaching overseas found that the number one motivator for working abroad was to ‘be somewhere different’. There are also many young people, who will never return, with only 30% of young people planning to live their whole life in the UK.

ONS statistics show that over 60% of UK migrants are looking for work overseas. 29% of all UK migrants are under 24.

In January 2013, i-to-i surveyed 142 recent graduates to assess their motivations for working as a teacher overseas. Their top 3 reasons were:

a.    Being somewhere different (70.14%)
b.    The skills gained that can go on my CV (49.31%)
c.    The pay (27.08%)

The Beans Group, which runs student lifestyle site, also conducted a study on a group of 1,349 UK University Students. They found that only 31% of young people see themselves living in the UK for their whole life, whilst 23% say seeing the world would make them most happy in their life.

Commenting on the results, Oliver Brann, editor of says, “For young people hearing all the doom and gloom of the UK economy, the grass appears to be much greener on the other side. America and Australia are particularly seen as lands of opportunity. The way of life abroad seems very appealing - young people want to be inspired and they don’t think the UK culture or the economic situation will allow them to realise their dreams.”

James Jenkin, Academic Director at i-to-i says,

“Jobs like this are providing a real antidote to the unpaid internship and bleak employment outlook in the UK right now. Graduates are actually getting paid for their gap year”.

Amy graduated in 2011 from York University. She has been teaching kindergarten in Incheon, South Korea for 18 months. Amy found herself finishing university with absolutely no idea of what she wanted to do next.

Amy says, “Although I always dreamed of travelling, I have to be honest and admit that it was the terrifying prospect of graduate unemployment and moving back in with my parents that forced me to take that leap and do TEFL!”

  • Date published: 27th May 2013
  • Written by: Olivia Mason



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