Britain tops 'brain drain' league

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  1. Guest25

    Guest25 Guest

    Britain tops 'brain drain' league
    25.10.05 1.00pm
    By Philip Thornton

    Britain has lost more skilled workers to the global "brain drain" than any other country in the world, according to a groundbreaking report by the World Bank.

    More than 1.44 million graduates have quit the UK to seek more highly paid jobs in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia.

    This far outweighs 1.26 million immigrant graduates in the UK leaving a net "brain loss" of some 200,000 people.

    The findings will fuel concerns that Britain's failure to defend its manufacturing, science and university base is pushing highly skilled workers overseas and risks damaging the country's long-term productivity.

    The scale of the emigration as a share of the total skilled workforce is also high.

    At 16.7 per cent - or one in every six graduates - is much higher than any other major industrialised country.

    In stark contrast France has lost just 3.4 per cent of her graduates, the lowest level of any large country.

    Frederic Docquier, one of the report's authors, said: "It does show an economic problem for developed countries.

    "For developed countries such as the UK a brain drain is clearly a loss.

    It may impact the rate of growth and the number of innovations that create growth in the long-run," he told The Independent.

    He said the problem was exacerbated by the relatively low level of university education in the UK, which meant the exodus of professionals was more keenly felt.

    While less than 20 per cent of Britons are educated the degree level, the figures are higher in the Continent - 27 per cent in Belgium, 25 per cent in Germany and 22 in France - and way below the levels seen in the US.

    His research suggested that British graduates were mainly moving to the US, Canada and Australia.

    "That is not surprising given the common language," he said.

    But he said the sheer scale of emigration was much higher than rivals such as Germany.

    "Many Germans go to the US but the British are everywhere," he said.

    "You can go to any country and you will find a British graduate - that's why the figures are so high."The most attractive destination is the US, which has 400,000 Britons followed by Canada and Australia with 365,000 each, 200,000 to the rest of the EU.

    Some 120,000 go to other member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development that includes states such as Saudi Arabia and South Korea.

    Graduates are even going to India to work in call centres.

    Last week after a survey found that UK graduates were prepared to fill an expected 16,000 Indian call centre vacancies by 2009.

    According to a report earlier this year a Scottish history graduate quit his £21,000 a year job as a manager for Sky Television to work in an Indian call centre.

    But clear evidence of the scale of the brain drain will worry employers such as engineers and pharmaceutical companies who need qualified graduates.

    In August a new report for the Department for Education and Skills found that low pay, increased administrative duties and fixed-term contracts were causing leading academics to pursue their careers overseas.

    So far even the World Bank's extensive study is unable to show how many graduates various each professions has lost.

    "This information is well-known to be hard to establish," Mr Docquier said.

    He said there was an urgent need for further research in the UK to find out whether the exodus was more prevalent in "growth" sectors such as engineering, IT, medicine and academia compared with graduates generally.

    He said there was sign of improvement.

    He said the emigration rate had fallen from more than 20 per cent in the 1970s to 18 per cent in 1990 to the latest estimate of 16.7 per cent as the UK pursued policies to boost university education.

    The report comes a week after official UK figures showed that the number of British citizens leaving the UK had hit an all-time record of 208,000.

    The CBI, the largest employers group, said globalisation had enabled all businesses - domestic and foreign - to look overseas for recruitment.

    Neil Carberry, one of its senior policy analysts, said: "The flipside is that UK graduates are increasingly mobile and can take advantage of this to work abroad.

    "The key message is that in order to compete in a high skills economy we must keep on improving and investing in our skills development infrastructure."But industry bodies are keen to play down fears of a damaging brain drain.

    The Health Education Policy Institute says the majority of movement takes place among junior postdoctoral staff, which is "entirely positive" for this country.

    "We gain more than we lose among such staff, and the great majority of our senior academics spent time abroad in postdoctoral positions - this is associated with early career development," it says.

    The findings challenges the perception that the UK acts solely as a magnet for skilled migrant workers from developing countries, who are losing much-needed workers for employers such as the NHS.

    The report shows that the UK is a major player in a two-way brain drain that has left a total of 200 million people working away from their home country.

    Despite the large numbers of people leaving Britain, its is dwarfed by the brain drain from developing countries as a percentage of the skilled population.

    More than eight out of 10 graduates are leaving Guyana in Africa and Grenada, Jamaica and St Vincent in the Caribbean.

    The World Bank said it was keen to highlight the massive role that migrant workers play in boosting growth and relieving poverty was highlighted yesterday a report showing they send back four times as much cash to their home countries as rich nations give in aid.

    Workers who have moved abroad in search of work will return some $225bn to families and friends this year, dwarfing the annual $50bn aid budget of the G8 and other rich countries.

    "Remittances reduce poverty and increase spending on education, health and investment," said Maurice Schiff, a World Bank economist.

    He said migration dramatically increased global economic output by enabling workers to move to locations where they would be more productive.

    As a result, they earned much higher wages than they would have in their developing home countries, he said.

    But the World Bank warned that the price was a growing "brain drain" of skilled workers and professionals from world's most vulnerable low-income countries.

    It said massive emigration of highly skilled citizens poses troubling dilemmas for many smaller low-income countries.

  2. Guest25

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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The report is very much true. A comparison of international migration shows that a large no of British citizens are settling in USA,Canada and Australi. This no exceeds the total no of skilled workers getting indefinite leave to remain in UK.Almost twice as much.

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