This is how many South Africans say they will emigrate for work – and where they want to move to

More young South African working professionals are willing to relocate for work compared to their contemporaries around the rest of the world.

This is according to new research by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network, in association with CareerJunction.

The research is based on a survey of more than 366,000 job seekers and 6,000 recruiters in 197 countries, and was conducted to determine mobility preferences of talent around the world, reasons to move abroad and key elements that job seekers want in a job.

Of the respondents, 57% said that they would move to another country for work.

This number, however, is much greater for South Africans, where 71% of respondents (young and working professionals) said that they are willing to relocate for work.

The study also showed that South Africans’ willingness to relocate increased from 64% in 2014.

“The research revealed quite a few idiosyncrasies among young working South African professionals,” said Stefano Niavas, partner and MD at BCG in South Africa.

“More of them are willing to travel abroad for work and see it as an opportunity to improve their skills and secure their careers.

“Many multinationals can offer exactly what these young people are looking for, both in international markets and in South Africa,” he said.

Where are South Africans looking to relocate to?

According to the study, the US remains the most favourable work location for South Africans – even amid the volatility of its national politics – followed by Australia, the UK, Canada and Germany.

New Zealand, the UAE, France, China and Switzerland also fell in the top 10 most desirable countries to work.

Comparing 2018 findings to those of 2014, China moved up a staggering 23 places, indicating a growing desire among South Africans to work there. The UAE moved up three places, BCG said.

“South Africans seem to have unique work preferences compared to the rest of the globe,” it said.

“While respondents around the globe listed things like good relationships with colleagues and good relationships with superiors as top motivating factors for relocating, South African respondents tend to value career development possibilities and learning and skills training more.”

‘Good work-life balance’, however, was listed in the top three motivating factors for South Africans and the rest of the world.

“So, while workers around the globe are more focused on intrinsic workplace rewards, such as those provided by good interpersonal office relationships, South Africans seem to be more set on future-proofing their careers and attaining the necessary skills to secure work and grow within their careers,” BCG said.


Read: Skilled South Africans are moving to these 9 countries

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This is how many South Africans say they will emigrate for work – and where they want to move to