The UK workforce is becoming more mobile, according to new research by internet jobsite reed.co.uk. One in three workers say they are planning to relocate over the next year, with half saying they were more likely to move on than three years ago.
The survey of 6,000 people suggests that many workers are relocating to improve both their career progression and their lifestyle.
For almost half of the respondents to the survey, relocation is inspired by the prospect of earning more money elsewhere. One in five say that changing job location will bring a higher quality of life. One in ten are feeling homesick and are relocating to be nearer friends and family. But only four per cent of workers are relocating because their job requires them to do so.
London is the most popular choice of destination, and if they were to relocate, a third UK workers would move to the capital. As one technician from the North West puts it: "London is still a big dirty city - but that's where the money is."
However, the second highest on the wish list is to move not only out of the UK, but out of Europe altogether, with a quarter of workers seeing an international move as one of their top three options.
But while London is the top destination for relocating workers - especially graduate trainees - the findings suggest that the attraction rapidly wears off.
Forty-three per cent of workers believe that the capital has become less attractive as a place to work, and six out of ten people working in London said they were considering moving out in the next year.
In April 2003, a survey by HR consultancy Chiumento found that three-quarters of workers in the City plan to quit their jobs in the next five years because they are fed up with London's crumbling infrastructure, job insecurity, bad management, financial worries and fear of terrorism.
For senior management, the reed.co.uk poll found that the most popular destination is the South-West of England. A quarter of company directors said they would move there if they had the chance. As one director planning to move out of London said: "The fantastic countryside and good people" of the South-West are more appealing than the City rat race.
Dan Ferrandino, director of recruitment website reed.co.uk, said that the research had uncovered signs of a structural change in the UK workforce.
"Our research shows that graduate trainees migrate to the capital as soon as they can but, by the time they reach senior management, they have become tired of the lifestyle and yearn to escape,Ē he said.
"As more companies move their offices to other areas across the country, workers will follow suit - taking advantage of the lower living costs outside London. I think we will see the UK workforce far more evenly spread in 10 years' time."