Britain faces brain drain as two million workers leave

Britain faces brain drain as two million workers leave

Britain faces brain drain as two million workers leave

Over the last 10 years, two million Brits of working age have voted with their feet and emigrated, causing fears of a brain drain and its effect on the economy.

The warning came from leading Conservative and secretary of the 1922 Committee Nick de Bois, who stressed that a change in culture is needed to stem the flow of the brightest and best to foreign shores. De Bois stated that encouraging success would be a good place to start.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that during the past ten years over three and a half million citizens have chosen to emigrate, with two million aged between 25 and 44. The stereotype of typical emigrants being retirees heading for life in the sun seems to have been superseded as only 125,000 of the total were of retirement age.

De Bois believes that talented younger workers are being lured by better career opportunities and a more satisfying lifestyle to emerging growth economies overseas. He feels that the potentially disastrous issue of migration is being lost in the debate over immigration.

The economy, he explains, should be dependent on keeping high-achievers in the country rather than replacing them with overseas workers. He notes that many migrants are leaving for jobs abroad in the aerospace, pharmaceutical, creative, IT and engineering sectors.

Questions need to be asked, he says, as to why, even taking into account the global economy and open labour markets, Britain seems unable to keep its home-grown talent. Home Office statistics for 2012 show that, of all Britons emigrating, almost half are company executives or professionals.

Britain’s high taxes and immigration are blamed for the rush to leave, but de Bois thinks it’s more complicated, citing a lack of appreciation of competitiveness and success. His warning is not the first to have emerged suggesting that Britain is losing out, with thousands of recent graduates heading abroad to kick-start their careers.

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