Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brain Drain Report: International Edition

New Zealand is sweating the exodus of talent. Like here in the States, the government annually trots out a plan to solve this problem. Years of empty returns are forcing a turn to more robust policy, attracting outsiders. Foreign born students are the current target and New Zealand is aggressively seeking people from India to matriculate at local universities. If staying in country is easier than it is here in the United States, then the scheme might work.

During the current economic downturn, the Celtic Tiger doesn't seem so fierce. As fortunes flip, the geographically mobile seek stronger opportunities:

Vital workers such as doctors, nurses and physiotherapists are being wooed by countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada to fill shortgaes in their own health services.

But while in the 1980s it was largely single people who jetted off to start new lives, this time thousands of young professional families are joining the exodus.

Visa consultants have seen a surge in interest from workers who have recently been made redundant or fear their jobs may be under threat.

Going after professionals who have young families is a smart strategy. They aren't likely to pick up again and relocate unless the job prospects look particularly dire. Ireland's problem is too much reliance on native talent. Plus, recent immigrants from new EU members such as Poland are already heading back home. Ireland must act quickly to catch up to the aggressive headhunting of Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Nativism is a big problem in the United Kingdom as well:

The brain drain again. Seven out of 10 students want to leave Britain for a better life and more opportunities abroad. The survey found most enthusiasm for the U.S. and Australia. A massive 47% said Spain was their first choice whilst France and Italy tied at 35%.

Less than two thirds of all babies born in England and Wales are now registered as ‘White British’, according to new Government figures. Ex-pats and tourists are being advised to come and see England, while they still can.

There you have it. Best visit the Lake District while it is still English.

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