UK's Twenty-Somethings Seek Better Working Life Abroad - says The Post Office

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• A third of the UK’s young workers are considering a move overseas to boost their career • Quality of living, better work/life balance and warmer climate top list of reasons to leave the UK

A third (33 per cent) of young people (18-34 year olds) have considered leaving the UK to improve their career prospects, according to new research from Post Office International Payments.

A further 27 per cent said they were open to the idea of moving abroad. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) have already lived or worked abroad before.

The chance of an improved quality of living was the top reason for wanting to escape the gloomy UK job and housing market (63 per cent). The prospect of a higher salary (43 per cent) and more career opportunities (39 per cent) were also among the top incentives for young professionals considering the move.

On average 18-34 year olds said they would look to stay away for at least five years. More than one in 10 (12 per cent) believed they could ride out the effects of the current economic climate by working overseas.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of young people felt that moving overseas would be a way for them to combine their desire to go travelling with working and getting paid. Nearly one in five (19 per cent) felt that a move abroad would create more opportunities for promotion.

Top ten reasons for young people to work abroad:

1    Improved quality of living
2    Warmer climate
3    Improved work/life balance
4    Higher salary
5    Experiencing a new culture
6    Better career opportunities
7    Adventure of working abroad
8    High cost of living in the UK
9    Better place to bring up a family
10    Bored of my life in the UK

Looking at reasons not to leave the UK, families have the biggest hold on young people with 62 per cent saying they could not leave their loved ones behind. Thirteen per cent of young people stated that they couldn’t leave the UK as they have too many debts.

Top ten reasons for young people not to work abroad:

1    I would miss my family
2    I might not find work
3    I would miss my friends
4    It's too expensive to move
5    I might not find a place to live
6    I don't feel able to leave my family
7    The language barrier
8    I would miss the British culture
9    I have no desire to move
10    It's too complicated to sort out my finances

Sarah Munro from Post Office International Payments said: “The combination of financial constraints and a difficult job market is making a move overseas look more and more attractive for young people from the UK.

“A move abroad can seem like a daunting prospect, particularly for younger people and their parents, and our research tells us that many are deterred by the thought of the expense and complication. For anyone who is looking to set up home in a new country, the Post Office International Payments service can help ease the process. Fee-free international money transfers can be used for house deposits and any other set-up costs – helping those relocating to avoid any potential bank charges.”

The Post Office International Payments service can be used to send money between UK and overseas bank accounts for a wide range of purposes such as a house deposit or other setting up home costs, mortgage payments and paying bills. Customers can also use the service to make payments from abroad back to the UK in sterling – so it’s really easy to manage any financial commitments you leave behind at home.

Find out more about Post Office International Payments and other services such as travel insurance by visiting or by calling 0800 180 4702. The minimum transfer amount is just £250 and those under £20,000 should be made online. Payments over £70,000 are handled by our telephone service where a specialist team member will offer clear guidance and quotes tailored to the customer’s specific needs.


For more information, please contact:

Hayley Fowell         
Post Office Press Office    0207 250 2468 /07725 446226

Notes to Editors:

1- Populus survey of 4,202 UK adults online between 22-24/29-31 July 2011


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Hayley Fowell