Saturday, 8 March 2008

Looks familiar? - Britain in 2008

Emigration shock for Wales

Mar 8 2008 by Sarah Miloudi, Western Mail

THE number of people leaving Wales for a new life abroad has almost doubled within nine years, latest figures reveal.

The government statistics found 4,000 more emigrated in 2006 than in 1997. It matches evidence from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and The Emigration Group which shows Britain is experiencing unprecedented emigration levels. More than 200,000 UK residents have left for a life abroad in the past two years.

Figures from the ONS show that in the year to July 2006 – the latest year for which figures are available – an estimated 10,000 people left Wales to move abroad, with Australia and New Zealand the most popular destinations. Nine years earlier, just 6,000 citizens were recorded leaving the country.

Paul Arthur, director of The Emigration Group, said highly- skilled workers and professionals such as doctors and architects were not the only ones leaving Wales for a life abroad. Increasing numbers of tradesmen and women were also choosing to emigrate.

“Australia and New Zealand – two of the most popular places to emigrate to – are booming economies, and people see they need all sorts of skills to help build these countries for the future,” he added. “We help many skilled trades people emigrate as well as professionals like doctors and teachers, and one thing they all mention are the opportunities that exist for themselves and their children.”

People often felt opportunities for employment in Britain were diminishing, and worried there would be even fewer for their children. Despite the similarities between Wales and countries like New Zealand in terms of scenery and main economies, they felt life abroad would offer more leisure facilities, leading to better health.

In the 1960s, thousands left the UK under the subsidised migration scheme, Ten-pound Pom, which offered financial support to UK citizens emigrating to Australia. American states such as Pennsylvania also attracted Welsh citizens in the mid-19th century, from industrialised South Wales.

Economists and social scientists say the same countries remain popular today, and a perception exists that foreign countries offer more opportunities.

Professor Steve Hill, an economic development expert at the University of Glamorgan, said, “Predominantly those leaving are young people in their 20s and 30s. The reason they go is that they are more mobile, and many who go become settled and do not come back. They respond to economic opportunities. It is like those here becoming teachers, for example, going to London and the South East (of England). It can seem you get quicker career progression in certain places.”

Prof Hill added that Britain – including Wales – had also experienced an influx of migrants from abroad and that often, when people living abroad reached their 50s, they chose to move home. “Wales is a nice place to be at that age – there is less congestion, less pressure on services and it has a pleasant environment,” he said.

Psychologist Dr Paul Saunder also said youngsters were attracted to countries like Australia and Canada due to the perception these provided more opportunities and a better quality of life.

However the principal lecturer in psychology at Uwic in Cardiff, said often people did not research the full implications of a permanent move, and would return in weeks once they discovered life abroad came with its own problems.

“It is easy to find the good things somewhere else, but not the bad. This only comes with experience. The problems of a country are often not immediately available to us. People can become very disillusioned once these become apparent,” he added.

The ONS says there has been a 50% increase in the number moving abroad to countries like Australia in the past three years.

News Report.
(from "Independence Cymru")


Britons in their hundreds of thousands are leaving these shores. In general, the elderly are going to Spain, the younger people to Australia. Meanwhile immigrants from all over, particularly Eastern Europe and the Middle East and South Asia, are flooding in, and are granted Council housing which the local citizens find extremely hard to obtain. There is at present no requirement for English to be spoken or understood, let alone Welsh. Part of the disaffection with the British way of life as it changes for the worse is represented by the cartoon above - the rest lies with the climate and the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor in society as well as the rising cost of living.

No comments: