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Britain among the best for boosting careers, according to expats

Published 21/09/2016

Expats come to Britain because they believe it will enhance their career prospects, new research shows
Expats come to Britain because they believe it will enhance their career prospects, new research shows

The UK is among the best destinations for ambitious expatriate employees looking to boost their careers while working abroad, a global report has found.

The research showed that alongside London, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham and Edinburgh are also hotspots in terms of the lifestyles they can offer to expats working in the UK.

More than three-fifths (61.5%) of expats living in the UK said the country was a good place to progress their career, compared with a global average of 43%, the survey from HSBC found.

The UK was ranked third for expat career progression behind Singapore in second place and Hong Kong in first place. In Singapore, 62% of expats believe the country is a good place to progress their career and in Hong Kong 68% of expats agree with this statement.

The research was carried out in March and April, before the EU referendum took place, and is a snapshot of expat views at that time.

More than a third (35%) of expats said they decided to move to the UK specifically to boost their career opportunities. And 64% of expats in the UK believe the chance to acquire new skills is better than in their home country.

Two-fifths (40%) of expats living in London said the desire to improve their job prospects motivated their move. More than seven in 10 (71%) of expats living in London agreed that their time in the city would improve their job prospects when they moved back home or to another country, compared with 46% globally.

Some 60% of those working in London rated the working culture as being better than at home.

Just under half (47%) of expats living in the UK reported having a better work/life balance than they would in their home country, rising to 60% of expats living in Bristol. More than three-quarters (76%) of expats in Bristol enjoy immersing themselves in British culture, compared with 71% across the UK generally.

More than half (52%) of expats in Leeds feel their quality of life is better there than at home, compared with 43% across the UK as a whole.

In Birmingham, 58% of expats said their work was more fulfilling than in their home country, compared with a global average of 47%.

Meanwhile, 57% of expats living in Edinburgh found it easy to make new friends, compared with 48% across the UK generally.

The Expat Explorer survey took the views of more than 26,800 people working abroad, including more than 4,700 expats living in the UK. Some 45 countries were included in the 2016 survey.

Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said: "The UK strongly appeals to expats, whatever their ambitions or motivations are, and each city has something great to offer.

"While London emerges as a hotspot for those looking for a career boost, cities such as Bristol or Edinburgh give expats a great chance to immerse themselves into the rich and friendly British culture."

Across the survey as a whole, Singapore was named as the best country for expats to live, work and bring up their children. The UK was ranked 22nd out of 45 in the overall survey.

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