Australians willing to move for the right job | Kelly Services Australia

75 per cent of Australians willing to move for the right job

30 March 2011

Almost three-quarters of Australians are willing to move for the right job, with many prepared to relocate to another country or continent to secure their preferred position, according to the latest survey from leading workforce solutions provider, Kelly Services.

The most mobile workers are among Gen Y (aged 18-29) who are more footloose than their Gen X (aged 30-47) and baby boomer (aged 48-65) counterparts, including being more willing to travel across the globe for the right job.

By far the most desirable destination for globetrotting Australian job-seekers is Europe (37 per cent), well ahead of Asia Pacific (16 per cent), North America (15 per cent), Middle East (4 per cent), South America (2 per cent), and Africa (2 per cent).

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, conducted from October 2010 through January 2011, which obtained the views of approximately 97,000 people in 30 countries, including almost 4,500 in Australia.

Karen Colfer, managing director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “Across many industries, there are a host of people who are now prepared to move within their own country, or abroad in the pursuit of work.

“With the globalisation of the talent market, there is a growing realisation that many individuals may decide to relocate for work, rather than simply hope that the work will come to them.

“Many skills that were once specific to a region or country are now able to be carried out in various parts of the globe, which means job mobility becomes important for career advancement. In fast-growing sectors such as engineering, science, finance and health, there is diverse global demand that can present personal rewards and career opportunities for those willing to travel.”

The survey also reveals almost one in four Australians are working in unconventional arrangements, involving long or unusual hours (30 per cent), multiple jobs (20 per cent), living away from home (9 per cent) or excessive travel (8 per cent).

“Competition in the job market is strong at the moment, with employees willing to change jobs and relocate more so than during the global financial crisis.

“Long periods of unconventional work arrangements are becoming increasingly necessary for Australians as they work to reach career goals,” Colfer said.

Key findings of the survey include: 

  • 30 per cent of Gen Y are prepared to travel abroad for the right job, compared with 24 per cent of Gen X and 16 per cent of baby boomers. Men are more willing to move than women.
  • Those working in oil & gas, and science are the most prepared to shift countries for work (46 per cent and 34 per cent respectively).
  • The overwhelming factor preventing people from moving abroad for a job is family and friends, cited by 58 per cent of respondents, followed by the cost of moving (25 per cent), language barriers (9 per cent), and cultural differences (2 per cent).
  • The willingness to move to a different continent is driven by the experience rather than setting up permanent residence, with 60 per cent prepared to stay for three years or less.
  • More than a quarter (29 per cent) are working in what they consider unconventional arrangements. Of those, the most common grievance is long hours affecting 30 per cent, followed by unusual hours (26 per cent), multiple jobs (20 per cent), living away from home (9 per cent), and excessive travel (8 per cent).
  • Half of those working in unconventional arrangements believe they can only continue doing so for up to one year. However, almost a quarter (23 per cent) say they can sustain it indefinitely.

For more information about these survey results and other key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index. 

Media contact:
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266 


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