A third of the world wants to work in Germany

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A third of the world wants to work in Germany
Jobseekers at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover. Photo: DPA

Germany is the number one non-English speaking destination for migrant workers, according to a global study. But which nationalities are keenest on Germany and where do Germans want work?


Germany ranked as the fourth most popular place to work abroad globally, after the US, UK and Canada respectively. One third of the 200,000 respondents surveyed said they'd like to move to the country.

Berlin ranked as the sixth most popular city worldwide to work in, according to the study from jobsite StepStone and The Boston Consulting Group. London was in top spot, followed by New York and Paris. 

South-east Europeans showed the greatest interest in moving to Germany, particularly workers from Bosnia and Serbia.

Sixty-four percent of workers in Serbia wanted to move to Germany. In the Netherlands, that figure was 51 percent, while half of Finns wanted to make the move. 

"Germany is a magnet for international workers," said Sebastian Dettmers from StepStone. "The economic stability, the huge number of vacancies and the good lifestyle make Germany a good option for both high- and low-skilled jobseekers." 

Swiss magnet

The research into where people would like to work found almost two-thirds of respondents were interested in working in another country. 
But only 44 percent of Germans wanted to work abroad. 

Germans were keenest on Switzerland (37 percent), the US (35 percent) and the UK (33 percent).  

"For Germans who are willing to move for work, 'abroad' often means 'next door'," the report said.  


Why go?

The biggest reason for wanting to go abroad was not money but personal development, the study found. 

Those questioned in Germany cited living in a foreign culture as the biggest reason for wanting to leave their home country.

"German jobseekers don’t necessarily associate going abroad with getting a better job offer or more money," the report said.

"Germans are much more likely than workers elsewhere to say that interesting job content and challenging work assignments are important to them." 

Germans also ranked relationships with their colleagues as the most important factor in the work place.

Co-Author of the study, Rainer Strack, said: "Geographical borders have become ever more permeable in the job market. National boundaries no longer really exist for the most talented and most skilled."

"The semi-borderless global job market gives limitless possibilities for jobseekers, for countries and for multinational companies which find it hard to find suitable candidates at the national level."

Unsurprisingly, those from less economically developed countries were the ones most prepared to move abroad. Ninety-seven percent of respondents in Pakistan said they could imagine working in another country.

France, with its struggling economy, was also ranked highly, at 94 percent, placing it in the top five countries with workers wanting to go abroad.

The study surveyed 200,000 people from 189 countries between April and June 2014. 


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