Welsh Heading for Australia to Start Fresh; Emigration Up as Economy Falters

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), January 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Welsh Heading for Australia to Start Fresh; Emigration Up as Economy Falters


Byline: JAMES McCARTHY

GROWING numbers of people are planning to leave Wales to start new lives abroad, in a bid to escape the stagnant UK job market and frozen wages.

Companies handling inquiries from people dreaming of a better life overseas say the economic slump has sparked a wave of calls.

Most of the callers are hoping for a new life in Australia, whose reserves of raw materials has helped stave off the economic freeze.

The rising value of the Aussie dollar has seen wages Down Under soar relative to the rest of the world, and particularly when compared to wages in pound Sterling, which has fallen in the last three years. Parts of Australia need hundreds of thousands of migrants to fill skilled jobs, from doctors and nurses to carpenters and plumbers.

Paul Arthur, of the Emigration Group consultancy, said economic reasons were now the main reason people were considering leaving the UK.

He said: "People are struggling with job security and Australia needs skilled workers." Mr Arthur said his firm had ranked the cities from where they received the most calls from people hoping for a new life. He said Cardiff had risen in to the top 10 with Swansea and Llandudno in the top 20.

"Every time we see a client we ask why they want to go and the thing that always comes back is lifestyle," he said.

"People are working harder and longer and the benefits they get seem to be going down."

The value of the Australian dollar has risen significantly in the last three years. While a pound bought 2.4 Aussie dollars during 2008, that has fallen by more than a third to 1.5 today. Average wages in Australia are now equivalent to nearly pounds 35k a year while people working in Wales take home on average pounds 19,472 in a year. …

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