European interest in overseas job opportunities leaps

Germany knocks the UK off the list of favoured destinations 

Nearly three quarters of European employees would consider taking up career opportunities abroad, with Germany topping the list of favoured destinations, according to a report.

A survey among nearly 10,000 adults working in the region by HR and payroll software and services provider ADP also revealed, unsurprisingly, that 16 to 24 year olds were most interested in working overseas (87%), while the over 55s were least inclined to do so (56%). There were also differences between nationalities, with the French (46%) and the British (42%) being least likely to consider taking up employment abroad.

Jeff Phipps, managing director at ADP UK, said: “It is evident that Europeans have an appetite for international work. With the war for talent and broadening skills gap being key challenges across the continent, it is essential businesses and governments work to ensure a more international workforce can be accommodated and its benefits understood and appreciated by the endemic population. 

Encouraging talent to move across borders and employing people from diverse backgrounds would be crucial if employers wanted to remain competitive into the future, he added.

The most popular destinations for foreign workers, meanwhile, were Germany (21%), the UK (15%) and France (12%), while North America surprisingly ranked only 12th on the list. Despite their top placements though, none of the three leading countries were particularly strong in any of the areas measured in the survey such as skills, development and flexible working options.

Instead, it appeared that pre-existing perceptions of each given country, its economic stability, distance from home country and language skills seemed to play a much bigger role in workers’ choices. It is also likely that the UK’s Brexit referendum affected the result, leading the country being knocked off the top slot.