Germany, Bahrain and the UK named as top countries for expat career progression

by Ray Clancy on March 26, 2019

Germany, Bahrain and the UK are the best countries in the world for career minded expats with moving country to find a better job emerging as the top reason for changing country.

But it is the UK that is the top country for learning new skills, according to a new survey of 22,000 expats in 163 countries by HSBC which looks at the best places in the world to work.

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After the top three comes the United Arab Emirates, followed by Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, the United States, Canada and then Hong Kong finishing off the top 10.

Expats ranked Germany as having the second-best working culture in the world, while almost three quarters (73%) highlight job security as a major perk of working there. It was also rated as the most productive workplace in the world.

Bahrain provides the potential for high earnings and 77% of expats agreed that their potential salary has increased since moving, without necessarily having to compromise on their work life balance. Bahrain tends to provide some of the world’s most comprehensive benefits packages with 69% of foreign workers receiving an accommodation allowance, 64% a medical allowance and 23% a bonus to help cover living expenses.

The research also suggests that Bahrain is the place to go if you want to be a leader with 59% of respondents working reporting they have developed their leadership skills while in terms of making new friends Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines are the most sociable work places in the world while 57% of foreign workers say working in Brazil has made them more creative.

The research reveals that even with Brexit looming, Britain’s foreign workforce is educated and ambitious, and more than two fifths have a postgraduate degree at 43% compared to 37% globally.

Regardless of their personal circumstances though, the move is usually good for their finances and two thirds of respondents in the UK said that it is easier to acquire new skills in the UK than in their home country.

The UK is also the fourth best destination to climb the career ladder, narrowly behind Hong Kong, USA and Singapore, and almost half of the people who move to the UK do so for their career. The average working expat in the UK also sees gains across the board in work/life balance, career progression and earning prospects.

Indeed, the positive elements of working life in the UK result in a majority of foreign workers describing the working culture as better than in their home country at 58% compared with 49% globally.

British expats, on the other hand, like to seek out a better quality of life, particularly better weather. The top destination for British expats looking to improve their career prospects in the US, followed by Australia, Spain, South Africa, France, the UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand and Canada.

Some 41% of British expats said the aim was to improve their quality of life, 30% were looking for a better climate, while 24% aimed to their career. More than 60% said that they have more disposable income than they did at home and more than half can set more money aside for the future.

‘Global talent has long powered the international melting pot of the UK and that does not appear to be slowing down. According to HSBC’s Expat Explorer research study, the UK is the best country in the world for those who want to learn new skills, and gains across the board in work/life balance, career progression and earning prospects demonstrate why we have such a strong and diverse workforce,’ said James Hewitson, head of wealth and advice for HSBC UK .

‘Whether you are taking a calculated risk to secure the job of your dreams or simply craving the warmth of the sun, working abroad can have serious consequences for your finances. Knowing where to keep your savings, how to transfer money and protect against currency fluctuations is vital. Once you have the logistics in order, you can focus on seeking out new experiences, gaining new skills and learning more about your new environment,’ he added.

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