Supply of British candidates and demand for their skills seem to be coming together at just the right time.
During Q1 2010, the number of financial services roles filled by British workers increased by four percentage points compared with the same period in 2008, according to research by headhunters Jon Michel Executive Search and Kinsey Allen International.
And the recruiters expect this rise to continue. In 2008, the financial services sector in New South Wales and Victoria employed approximately 46,500 British professionals (19 per cent of the total). This is likely to increase to 69,250 by the end of this year, reflecting the growth of the industry as a whole, as well as an improved supply of UK candidates.
But why are more Brits heading Down Under? The report says it’s primarily because there are comparatively more career opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne than in Western European financial centres. The strong overall performance of the Australian economy during the financial crisis is another key factor.
Other recruiters have noticed that more Brits are coming onto the employment market. “It’s due to a combination of the increase in number and variety of opportunities in the Australian market, as well as Sydney now being a more established international financial services hub,” says Louise Langridge, joint managing director, Morgan McKinley Sydney.
But what type of jobs are being filled by Brits? These functions top the list: risk and compliance; accounting and finance; project and strategy; and investment banking and capital markets.
“Accounting and product control are two functions where there is currently significant demand in Sydney for professionals from the UK. This is not only due to the shortage of local talent, but also some institutions are actively seeking those with larger-market experience gained in the UK,” adds Langridge.
The sheer size of their operations in Australia means that most British candidates are employed by one of the Big Four banks.
“However, there has also been recent demand from international investment banks, fund managers and insurance companies. As the jobs market has picked up, the pool of available Australian candidates has been slower to follow, leading to a candidate-short market and more opportunities for UK professionals,” says Langridge.
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