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The grass is greener: Growing number of Brits looking for work abroad, survey reveals


The temptation for workers to leave the UK for pastures new is stronger than ever according to a survey of 1,000 employees by Aviva.

The study of consumers aged 18-45 found the 'culture of austerity' has spurred over half (54%) to consider a move overseas to find work.

In a 2010 survey, Aviva UK Health found more than 5.5 million people were considering mid-term breaks abroad. But this year's findings show 46% of respondents are considering a permanent move compared to last year's 39%. One in five (21%) people remain more cautious and would only be prepared to go for between one and three years.

Nine out of 10 (89%) respondents believe the last three years has seen a decline in the UK job market, with a further 54% admitting the Government cuts have adversely affected their lifestyle. Over half (54%) of people claim this is a key trigger to them considering a move abroad.

The winter has also taken its toll, with 45% motivated to move abroad by the promise of a better climate. A further 31% believe a healthier, less stressful and more varied lifestyle awaits them, while 33% are hoping for a better quality of work/life balance.

When asked about their concerns, a quarter (25%) were worried they might have worse employee benefits abroad. And, 37% think they would have less state funded privileges.

Just over a third say the NHS is one of the things they would miss the most. This is compared to a quarter (25%) saying the same last year. Almost a half (46%) of respondents think the UK has better health benefits than other countries worldwide. This prompted six in 10 (59%) to say that they would factor heath insurance into their planning. By contrast, 38% of people would not arrange any sort of health insurance before they moved.

Teresa Rogers, business lead for international PMI at Aviva, said: "When times are tough, it might seem natural to set one's sights on moving abroad. But our survey shows that there are certainly pros and cons to moving and people need to plan carefully if they are considering making their dream a reality. Health is clearly a primary concern for people and whether you're thinking of moving abroad for a short time or on a more permanent basis you need to take care to ensure you and your family are always properly protected.

"Healthcare provision varies greatly around the world and even routine medical care can prove costly in countries that don't offer a similar service to the NHS. Although it's very encouraging that over half of the people we spoke to would consider taking out international health insurance, over a third (39%) would sort their health insurance out only once they've arrived. This could leave them in a difficult position should the worst happen."

Aviva's research reveals that the same five countries identified in its 2010 study still remain the re-location destinations of choice:





New Zealand.

All statistics are from a nationwide survey of 1,000 British adults, carried out for Aviva by market researchers OnePoll. The opinion poll was hosted online between 31 March and 5 April 2011 and was available to its registered members.