More Millennials want to work abroad…but London is the most attractive city worldwide

Australian beach with skyscrapers

We might not want to study abroad in great numbers (a pity, as there are wonderful experiences to be had), but all that appears to change once we enter the workforce. Brits are reportedly more willing to work overseas than ever.

Maybe it’s Brexit, or the fancy Instagram pictures posted by travel influencers (faked or otherwise). Perhaps it’s the price of a London pint. Or it’s all three. Whatever the reasons, there has been a significant increase over the past four years in British workers’ willingness to work overseas, according to a new report by Boston Consulting Group and totaljobs.com.

The study called Decoding Global Talent looked at the job preferences and mobility of 366,000 workers across 197 countries worldwide, including their willingness to relocate for work. The percentage of respondents wanting to move abroad in Britain showed the biggest increase of any country worldwide, jumping from 44% in 2014 to 62% in 2018.

This is especially true of Millennials under 30 or Brits with advanced degrees: 73% would leave for a job elsewhere. As for where they would like to move to, it’s the usual suspects: Australia is first, while the US, Canada and Germany are also popular destinations.

In an interesting twist, the same survey shows that the most appealing city worldwide for global workers is none other than London, ahead of New York, Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam. The report cites the British capital’s

rich history, abundant old-world charm, an international and diverse population, and, not incidentally, an electorate that voted by a three-to-two margin to stay in the EU.

Right – Brexit (again).

Global Britain and Global India hold global talks to unlock global opportunities

Henna

China is not the only nation of 1.3 billion people, iconic cultural treasures, towering mountains, deserts and growing global influence. India is incredible – or so the famous ads tell us, as I’ve not been myself – and likely to figure much more strongly in our lives in the years ahead.

India, of course, is also a member of the Commonwealth with traditionally strong links with Britain, and now there is growing momentum to forge closer ties. It looks like they even share a common slogan, with their Global Britain and Global India monikers.

To promote trade and investments, “UK-India Week” was held in London and Buckinghamshire last week, bringing together bigwigs from Britain and the subcontinent over 5 days to engage in bilateral talks.

Among high-level activities was an early morning yoga session (coinciding with the International Day of Yoga). There may or may not have been a Bollywood dance featured somewhere.

The week included a two-day UK-India Leadership Conclave to talk post-Brexit opportunities in areas such as smart cities, social impact, renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Promisingly for young talent,  an India-UK Technology and Talent Exchange programme was launched at the conclave called TechXChange (which curiously appears to have emerged 10 years ago under a different purpose). TechXChange aims to ensure that startups in both countries are given the right support to succeed.

Lest you think I’m – ahem – currying favour, one startup area in which India could improve in appeal is as a digital nomad destination.

India is an iconic country on anyone’s bucket list, sprawling from Ladakh to the tropics – and it’s easy to see why globetrotting freelancers would want to live and work there. I saw Poorna recently on a long flight, about a young Indian girl who scaled Everest, and I’m now itching to visit Darjeeling and Bhongir, both appearing in the movie.

Yet the country’s highest ranked city on Nomadlist, the ultimate city index for digital nomads, is Thiruvananthapuram in the southern state of Kerala: a lowly 397 worldwide. Legendary Goa, a popular backpacker destination throughout the years, is ranked 406. Both are far ahead of Agra (680) – famous for its Taj Mahal – and capital Delhi (853).

Remember The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Jaipur, according to Nomadlist, is ranked 729, suggesting its perhaps not the best exotic digital nomad destination. But the biggest surprise is India’s Silicon Valley, Bangalore – just 450 on the list.

British Council launches digital toolkit to lure British students to China

It’s been a cracking week for “Brand Britain” on television screens worldwide. First Hazza and Meghan, then Gareth Bale.

Bale?!

The flying Welshman turned heads around the globe for his wondergoal in the Champions League Final, playing for his non-English club of Real Madrid. It’s rare that British players like him play overseas – but look at his record. He now has three or four European Cups to his name, I’ve lost count. He wouldn’t have been so successful staying in England (sorry, Spurs fans).

Of course, we can’t all play for Madrid, but we can choose to work abroad, and if you’re young and up for it, there are few better destinations than China at the moment. (Of course, if you’re a top-draw footballer, you can consider China too – the money is good.)

The British Council recognises this, starting a programme to encourage young Brits to engage with China: Generation UK. Since the campaign was launched in 2013 (the year I left China, ironically), more than 40,000 young people have come to China, to either study or undertake internship placements.

In 2017 alone, there were 10,000 students in China – up 70 percent on the number before the start of the campaign. Impressive. But the campaign is targeting a cumulative total of 80,000 by 2020, and to continue the momentum the British Council has lately been promoting the campaign in Westminster:

As part of this advocacy drive, a digital toolkit was launched to help UK MPs raise awareness about the benefits of engaging with China and encourage local unis, businesses and youth organisations to get involved in the campaign.

The toolkit includes an overarching campaign report with key facts, Twitter and Facebook copy, video case studies, Generation UK flyers and posters, and letter templates – i.e. goodies to help influencers from schools to parents sit up and take notice in the golden opportunities presented to Britain and young people.

Hopefully these messages will reach more people from outside the Home Counties. The British Council report shows that – predictably – most programme participants are from London and the Southeast.

In the unlikely event you’re an MP, or someone connected to an MP, you can download the digital kit from the British Council China landing page.

In the even more unlikely event you’re Gareth Bale and reading this, and considering your next move, you are still too young for China, so I would stay put at Madrid, or perhaps look at PSG (thank me later)…