A nation with itchy feet: Half of Brits willing to relocate within the UK for work

  •  London, Manchester and Edinburgh revealed as the most desirable places to live in the UK
  • The UK’s second largest city Birmingham comes in sixth place, behind Brighton & Hove and Glasgow
  • Better lifestyle (42%), improved employment opportunities (38%) and living in a desirable area (32%) are the key motivations for relocating
  • 62% of UK residents would be willing to move abroad for work – more than ever before

 

25th July 2018: New research from totaljobs has revealed that half (50.4%) of the British workforce would be open to relocating within the UK for work, with London, Manchester and Edinburgh revealed at the most desirable places to live in the UK. However, in the wake of Brexit, 62% of UK residents would be willing to move abroad for work, more than ever before. This represents an 18% uplift of workers thinking about moving abroad since 2014, posing a significant threat to the country’s existing talent pool as more workers are tempted to leave the UK than migrate within it.

The new research follows totaljobs’ Global Talent Survey of 400,000 people worldwide which last month crowned London as the most desirable city in the world for talent migration.

UK’s most desirable cities

London’s enduring attractiveness to workers shows no signs of slowing down as it remains the top city to live and work in the UK, retaining its position as the business, financial, and cultural capital of the UK. London was closely followed by Manchester and Edinburgh in terms of attractiveness. While big cities dominate the top 10, the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, trailed behind at the 6th most attractive, beaten by less populated cities Brighton & Hove and Glasgow.

The top 10 cities to live and work in the UK:

1. London
2. Manchester
3. Edinburgh
4. Brighton and Hove
5. Glasgow
6. Birmingham
7. York
8. Bristol
9. Bournemouth
10. Liverpool

 

What moves workers?

The research also revealed that the three key motivations for migration within the UK are better lifestyle (42%), increased employment opportunities (38%), and living in a desirable area (32%). The results prove the importance UK workers place on maintaining a healthy work-life balance when considering their place of work, justifying why the coastal locations of Brighton and Bournemouth fared so well in the rankings. Somewhat surprisingly, housing affordability (buying and renting), was at the bottom of the priority list, with just 8% saying they were motivated to move by this factor.

The survey found that 80% of workers expect a relocation package if moving for work as part of an internal transfer with their current employer, with 86% requesting a higher salary, and 30% asking for a promotion, demonstrating the opportunity for employers to incentivise workers to relocate. These findings also highlight the need for bosses to entice sought-after talent with competitive benefits and assistance when relocating.

Interestingly, with UK employers reporting a skills shortage impacting their recruitment efforts, the research revealed that 70% of people are more likely to relocate when securing a job with a new employer, as opposed to as part of a move with their current employer.

Totaljobs also found that Brits are willing to move an average of 43 miles from friends and family to live in their preferred location, highlighting the appetite to make significant lifestyle changes for the right area and career.  The findings suggest that Brits remain captured by the rat race, as almost half of UK workers (43%) would prefer to live in an urban area, and almost two thirds (61%) would most like to work in a town or city.

Mike Booker, Director at totaljobs, said: “Across the country workers are willing to relocate for better employment opportunities, which is a really positive message for employers looking to attract new talent. The results of our survey demonstrate the fluidity of talent migration within the UK, and the current talent pool available to British bosses.

“This research also reflects the findings of our recent Global Talent Survey, conducted alongside Boston Consulting Group, which ranked London as the most desirable city in the world for work. However, employers need to be aware of the growing desire amongst UK workers to relocate overseas and must ensure they’re prepared to offer competitive benefits, a healthy work-life balance and skills training to ensure they attract and retain top talent.”