News: Need a plumber? You may have to call Australia

Britain's vital tradesmen and women are leaving the country in droves according to new research from HiFX, the currency specialists.

HiFX help 7000 people emigrate each year and over half (51%) of these people are classified as working in skilled trade occupations.  Plumbers and gas fitters are most likely to use their trade to escape the UK, hotly followed by carpenters and joiners, HiFX reveals.

Skilled trade occupations include electricians, mechanics, bricklayers and chefs all of whom feature in HiFX's top ten professions to emigrate. This mass exodus of skilled workers could have a huge impact on those of us left in the UK, with HiFX predicting that 1.37 million tradesmen will have emigrated by 2016. However, with many workers feeling increasingly stressed in their UK lifestyles the appeal of moving overseas to start a new life is strong.

Top 10 professions emigrating from the UK

 Position Professions SOC category *

 1st =



 Skilled Trades Occupation

Skilled Trades Occupation

 2nd =

 Carpenters and joiners

IT professionals

 Skilled Trades Occupation

Associate Professional and Technical Occupation

 3rd =


Mechanical engineers

Skilled Trades Occupation

Skilled Trades Occupation

 4th =



 Associate Professional and Technical Occupation

Professional Occupation

 5th =

 Office managers

Motor mechanics

 Managers and Senior Officials

Skilled Trades Occupation



 Personal Service Occupation

 7th =



 Skilled Trades Occupation

Professional Occupation


 General communications tradespersons

 Skilled Trades Occupation



 Skilled Trades Occupation

 10th =


Welfare/social workers

 Skilled Trades Occupation

Associate Professional and Technical Occupation

(* According to the Standard Occupation Classification by the Office of National Statistics)

Australia looking to attract skilled workers

Upping sticks and settling in sunnier climes is not just a pipe dream for plumbers and gasfitters.  Australia, for example, is actively attracting our skilled workers by giving them maximum points in their 'points by profession' vetting system. Carpenters, electricians and nurses score the maximum 60 points.

Following skilled trades occupations, professionals and managers and senior officials are most likely to emigrate, but with just 10% of enquiries coming from each of these sectors it seems clear that skilled workers are the most fed up with the UK.

Mark Bodega, Marketing Director for HiFX, the currency specialists comments: "Australia, New Zealand and Canada are facing a shortage of home grown skilled workers so they are marketing themselves as attractive propositions to UK workers who may be looking for a better work/life balance and an escape from the sky high property prices of the UK."

Bodega continues: "However moving your entire life to a completely different country is a huge financial decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. At some stage in the emigration process you will need to convert some or all of your assets into the local currency of your new country. Your future wealth will be directly affected by the timing of this currency transaction but all too often people simply don't plan ahead or place nearly enough importance on this."

Bodega added: "Naturally, if Sterling strengthens between your visa being granted and you physically moving, you will be able to buy more with your money when you reach your new country.  Conversely, if Sterling weakens; you will have less buying power in your new country. Our aim is to work out a strategy for your currency requirements and educate you as much as possible in the currency you are purchasing."

For more information on HiFX products and services, please visit www.hifx.co.uk

Back to: News Index