With unemployment rising to the highest level since 1994, more Britons are grabbing their passports and moving abroad. But which countries provide the best opportunities?
The UK has traditionally attracted professional migrants from around the world. But with unemployment on the rise, UK workers are beginning to consider looking for work elsewhere.
A study by Manpower, the global workforce solutions company and partner of the World Economic Forum, found that since the recession, six out of ten employees would consider relocating for a job.
In the UK, where there is less of history of migration, this figure is lower. But a substantial 26 per cent of people would now consider relocating. The company BUNAC, which supports 18 to 30s looking for work abroad, has also seen a marked increase in the number of people seeking international experience after failing to find work at home.
But once the decision to relocate has been made, which countries provide the best opportunities?
With its beautiful landscape, temperate climate and crucially, its native English tongue, New Zealand has a lot to offer UK migrants. In addition, New Zealand officials are actively seeking UK workers to help with the $30bn Christchurch rebuilding project following the destruction caused by earthquakes last year.
The Canterbury Employment and Skills Board (CESB) and representatives from 25 New Zealand employers are staging jobs expos in London and Manchester this month, and are recruiting staff across the city's immigration, education, medical, IT and services sectors.
Around 30,000 people are needed to work in these sectors over the next three to ten years, and according to Alex Bouma, CESB’s deputy chairman, "the UK expos will play a crucial role in providing businesses with the employees they need".
For years, emerging economies saw their workforce moving to the Europe and the US for work. However the reverse is now true, according to Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey.
The survey found that Brazil, Taiwan and India offer the strongest job prospects. While the European finance sector has been badly hit by the recession, employers in Brazil are looking for professionals with skills in finance.
As well as finance, the insurance and real estate sectors have a strong outlook in Brazil and Taiwan. These countries are looking at a 38 per cent and 37 per cent rise in the number of employers intending to hire staff, respectively.
Manpower is urging professionals to consider relocate to another country, for their own benefit as well as for the jobs market.
"The danger for countries with prolonged high unemployment rates today is that the longer workers stay on the sidelines, their skills erode, as does the national workforce potential of tomorrow," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Group.
"Recovery stimulus must focus on job creation through iterative [frequent] skills training to get labor markets running again.”
Australia has tempted many professionals to its shores with the promise of well paid positions and sunny climes.
The country's skilled migrant scheme has attracted many UK professionals. Although the recession has seen a rise in Australia's unemployment, resulting the government prioritising Australian workers, there is still a range of sectors highlighted by the government where professional migrants are in demand, including engineering, health and education.
Returning to the UK is a 'complete nightmare'
Caoimhe Sturgess, 28, moved to Melbourne from Belfast in 2009. After a few months of casual work, she got a job as a sales and corporate account manager while her husband started work as a cost accountant at a manufacturing firm.
The couple always planned to return home, and came back to Belfast at the start of this year. But have been unable to find work. "It is a complete nightmare," Mrs Sturgess told Channel 4 News. "We've been back for four months - I'm temping and my husband is looking."
Not only is it more difficult to find work, but comparable salaries in the north of Ireland are 30 to 40 per cent lower than those in Australia. "My job was very well paid, and exactly what I wanted to do," said Mrs Sturgess. "All our friends in Melbourne who had come from Ireland had really good jobs that were related to their degrees."
Her previous company are holding her job until January, and the couple will move back if they fail to find work. "Ideally we wanted to stay here," said Mrs Sturgess. " I love the lifestyle out there but it's the distance thing. People getting married, having babies - that's the thing I would miss the most."