Australian and New Zealand expats leaving UK

by Ray Clancy on August 10, 2012

Australian and New Zealand expats living in the UK are leaving to go home because of the dire employment outlook and crisis in the eurozone, a survey suggests.

The research from jobs website TrackMeBack that specialises in finding expats work, fond that a more positive economic and employment outlook is attracting people back to Australia and New Zealand.The findings are backed up by statistics from the UK’s Home Office which show that the number of New Zealanders arriving to work has fallen by 40% over the past three years and the number of Australians by 35%.

‘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.

They are typically expats with a degree and 10 or more years’ professional experience and are attracted to jobs in mining, resources, engineering, energy, digital media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, trades, construction and insurance.

Both Australia and New Zealand currently have economies that are growing and the firm found that the surge in returning expats began three years ago when the eurozone economic crisis hit. The New Zealand economy grew by 2.4% in the 12 months to the end of March 2012 and the Australian economy by 4.3% over the same period compared with the UK economy shrinking by 0.2% and the eurozone by 0.1%.

TrackMeBack said it expects the trend to gain momentum in the coming months, particularly in the construction sector in New Zealand due to the city of Christchurch being rebuilt after recent earthquakes.

‘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, FMCGs, healthcare, management consulting and digital media so they’re definitely ones to watch in the coming year,’ she explained.

‘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,’ she added.

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