Brits still want to work abroad (despite Brexit) – here’s why

While 12% of Brits have given up on their dream to work abroad because of Brexit, 42% would like to do so and Europe is still the most attractive place for them to go.

Recruitment specialist Natasha Stark talks through the new survey by Rosetta Stone. It suggests that while a small number of Brits may have given up dreams of working abroad after Brexit, many are still keen to do so and believe that learning a new language will help them get there….

Why do more people want to work abroad?

Although Brexit has put a damper on some people’s hope of working abroad, the rise in remote working has also created new opportunities to do so. A substantial minority of the respondents to our survey (19%) believed that better job prospects exist abroad and 42% of them said that they would like to work abroad if it meant staying in the same role, or with the same company.

Working abroad, from home

On the flip side, many respondents could see the internationalisation of the workplace meaning they might be able to get work in other countries while staying in the UK. More than half (51%) of respondents would consider taking a job based in another country, if able to work remotely and remain within the UK.

Which country is the most popular place to work abroad?

European countries dominated the list of foreign countries people would like to work in. Spain topped the chart with 26% of respondents saying that this would be their number one choice. Of these nearly half (49%) said they would be willing to learn Spanish to do so.

Other popular choices were Greece (19%) Italy (15%) and France (15%).

Can I work abroad after Brexit?

Brexit has, of course, made working in Europe more complicated – at least in the short term. 12% of survey respondents revealed that they had given up on their dreams of working abroad because of it. However, Natasha Stark, Amsterdam Managing Partner at recruitment agency DMCG Global, says that is it still entirely possible to work abroad, depending on the immigration rules of the country in question:

“New immigration and salary requirements have come in for UK citizens wanting to work in the EU – each country now has its own Highly Skilled Migrant requirements. So there are some new challenges, but it’s definitely still possible”

Do I need to speak the language to work abroad?

While many jobs abroad are in English speaking offices and teams, it is still a substantial advantage to know the local language when it comes to both getting and thriving in your work abroad. 38% of respondents said they thought the ability to speak another language will greatly improve job prospects outside of the UK.

Natasha Stark agrees: “I do believe key skills such as the ability to speak the native language for the country you wish to work in are crucial to pursuing this dream, not only to land the job, but to improve the overall experience of living abroad.”

Just one of many great reasons to learn a new language

Of course, there are many other reasons to learn a language too and our survey respondents highlighted their top ones: that it allows for easier travel (62%), and improves the ability to make new friends (31%). It’s no surprise that 71% of those who only speak one language, wish they could speak another.

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*The research for Rosetta Stone was carried out online by Opinion Matters throughout 18/01/2021 to 20/01/2021 amongst a panel resulting in 2,000 UK adults (18+) responding. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

About the Author Rosetta Stone Team

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