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For decades there has been a well-established market for Australian and New Zealand accountants in the UK, especially in London. Despite this, over the last 3 years, there has been a significant departure of Aussie and Kiwi talent. During Covid, many left UK shores just before borders shut, whilst many others left London as soon as they opened at the expiration of their 2-year visa.
John Marx, Director of Halliday Marx says “Quite frankly in my 26-year career, I can think of no finer workers than those tremendous Aussies and Kiwis. By golly do they work hard, share our accounting principles and always have a sunny disposition. I’ve placed thousands in my career and quite why we don’t have open borders with these two magnificent countries is beyond me.”
Following almost two years of closed borders, the taps turned on for an influx of finance professionals from Australia and New Zealand to the UK and experience everything that London and the UK has to offer, including the cultural, social and night-life scene that is second to none, with a thriving Aussie and Kiwi expat community to help overcome the adjustment…But the numbers that have arrived are still nowhere near the pre-Covid times.
Many experienced Australian and New Zealand candidates are working on 2-year Tier 5 Visas, meaning they are completely comfortable and accustomed to working on an interim basis. Right now the vast majority of arrivals are newly qualified accountants. This has made the Aussie and Kiwi talent in the UK uniform with very little diversity in experience levels. The arrival of clerical and part-qualified as well as 4 years+ post-qualified accountants continues to be lower than pre-Covid. Junior professionals are being turned off by the higher cost of living and rent that makes London less attractive.
As a finance professional from Australasia, having UK work experience on your CV offers significant benefits to your future career opportunities as well as offering an amazing overseas experience.
Post Brexit-Britain has replaced a system full of hurdles to migration for most with one in which skilled workers globally can gain entry with slightly lower barriers than before. In other words, a system that Australian and New Zealand finance professionals can take advantage of to further their careers.
There are also the added benefits of your qualifications being completely recognised in the UK as being on the same level as CIMA, ACCA and ACA. When you also take into account the earning potential for experienced accountancy professionals, Australian and New Zealand professionals are in a great position to begin permanent and interim roles from stepping off the plane.
The lack of talent arriving from Australia and New Zealand is noticeable, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. More experienced finance professionals from New Zealand are now available to be hired because the Tier 5 visa age limit has increased from 30 to 35 and candidates can now work for 3 years, up from the previous 2 years. We expect that Australia will follow suit soon.
John Marx continues: “If you are an Aussie or a Kiwi looking for a new challenge, talk to your experienced colleagues and friends and see how much they enjoyed their time in London. It’s an experience you will never forget! It’s always a good chat and there is huge historical proof that there is a strong track record that Brits will always employ the sublime Aussies and Kiwis, especially in London.
At Halliday Marx, we know that Aussies and Kiwis deliver great benefits to the accounting profession in the UK, so we are calling on all the Australian and New Zealand finance professionals to get your mates over so they can experience the benefits of working in London.”
If you would like any more advice on recruiting Australian and New Zealand candidates and the additional benefits they can provide for your business, please do contact us, or if you are a candidate our specialist consultants will be delighted to talk with you and find you a suitable position. Please contact us on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]
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