How does the UK fare as a global work destination of choice?


The accountancy and advisory firm, BDO, has conducted a joint survey* that asked over 10,000 people in 20 countries to pick their top three destinations to work.

So, how did we do?

First let’s take the results of all the countries that were polled. On an international-level, it shows that whilst the UK has slipped from second place in 2012, it remains the third most popular destination in 2017.  Canada took the UK’s place this year, whilst the USA remains top of the list (although with a 4% decrease in popularity since 2012). As a global destination, we’re still up there.

 Top 4 countries to relocate: All
Country 2017 2012 Change
United States 30% 34% -4%
Canada 22% 20% 2%
United Kingdom 19% 22% -3%
Australia 19% 20% -1%


Post the EU referendum, however, our standing isn’t quite so positive when it comes to our European workers. Back in 2012, the UK was the joint-second destination.  Fast forward five years and we’re not even in the top six.

Top 6 countries to relocate: Employees from Europe
Country 2017 2012 Change
United States 24% 29% -5%
Germany 20% 17% 3%
Switzerland 20% 20% n/c
Australia 20% 20% n/c
Canada 19% 18% 1%
Spain 19% 13% 6%
United Kingdom Not in top six 20% n/a


Paul Eagland, Managing Partner at BDO said: “UK businesses are already struggling with a skills shortage.  The impact of the EU referendum and uncertainty around a new trade deal is likely to make this worse.  It’s absolutely imperative that the Government makes it clear to the world that the UK is still a great place to do business and that we continue to attract the world’s brightest and best to our country”.


*The research was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Canadian Employment Relocation Council (CERC) and BDO.  The poll ran in 20 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system.  It fielded between February 2017 and March 2017.  Approximately 300-500 individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK and the US which each have a sample of 500+.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

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How does the UK fare as a global work destination of choice?