Lack of Jobs Leading to “Brain Drain” in Britain
Recent data produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for Reuters shows that an increasing amount of students are leaving the UK in favour of securing roles abroad. And, with over 30% of university leavers being unemployed, a stream of rejection e-mails and no prospect of improved employment, is there any wonder why? However, many now fear that a “brain drain” is occurring in Britain.
According to the data produced, there has been a 25% increase in the number of UK and EU undergraduates from British universities who are leaving for jobs abroad since 2008 when the economic crisis began. This rise was 27% when taken for British students alone, between 2008 and 2011.
The report also showed how an increasing amount of EU students are returning back to European countries after studying in Britain, rather than staying here to secure a job, which would have been the preferred option for many several years ago.
Furthermore, Oxford and Cambridge universities have seen a 43% increase in the number of graduates who have left the UK to work abroad in the past four years. A worrying statistic considering Britain’s ‘elite’ would traditionally have come from these two top universities.
Speaking about these figures, the director of the careers service at Cambridge University, Gordon Chesterman, said that students are encouraged to consider different options, but that he hadn’t noticed an increase in the number of students who are looking abroad to find work.
“We do advocate that students look very carefully at having a plan B and a plan C, and that plan B may well take them into their chosen career in four or five years time.”
He also went on to say that there has been an increase in the amount of students who are undertaking foreign language courses whilst studying for their degrees – potentially emphasising their options of moving abroad.
The most popular location for graduates has been Asia, which has increased by 51% over four years; with Australasia rising by 49%, continuing to be a firm favourite for Britons due to work-visas being easy to obtain.
Youth unemployment has risen in many EU countries, including Greece and Spain where it is has reached over 40%, whilst China, Australia and India have maintained a far more stable job market.
In a report, the Home Office said they were alarmed at this rise in professional candidates leaving Britain, stating that it “may have implications for the availability of skills in the UK.”
Most of those who emigrated from 2008 to 2010 did go with a job secured or in search of new work, with 89% being within working ages.
Last year alone, 72% of people who were emigrating from the UK stated that it was for a work-related reason.