Why would you recruit from the UK if you’re a Transport Operator based in Australia?

Why would you recruit from the UK if you’re a Transport Operator based in Australia?

For a lot of Brits facing another commute in the cold and rain, the prospect of moving to sunnier pastures is quite an attractive offer. But why would you consider specifically searching for candidates in the UK when your business is in Australia?

The role is in Australia, surely, you need people who live in and understand the Australian transport market?

Increasingly, we are getting Australian transport operators approach us seeking out Brits to move abroad, and there is a good reason for that. The UK is renowned for producing world class talent in the transport operating market, with a strong heritage since Victorian times.

Here are 7 reasons why you should consider looking to the UK for your next hires:

1. The UK has a bigger pool of candidates

Australia has an ageing population, and a talent short market. In fact, there are half as many children born today than there was 50 years ago.

Australia may be 32 times bigger geographically than the UK, but 40.3 million fewer people live in Australia than in the UK. So statistically the UK has a much greater pool of potential candidates.

Over the next three years demand for infrastructure connected labour in Australia is anticipated to reach unprecedented levels, with a likely shortfall of up to 105,000 roles by mid-2023. Adding into this the fact that up to 40% of the workforce is set to retire over the next 15 years, business as usual and solely recruiting from the domestic market is unlikely to be a sustainable option.

2. Brits are willing to travel

In London a 90-minute commute is considered the norm for most people. With candidates emigrating to Australia, they will have the flexibility to find accommodation that is in the right location for their new job which can be a positive factor for them vs. a long commute in the UK.

3. Government control in the UK

Due to the recent changes in how train operating companies are managed, the UK TOC sector is now very heavily controlled by the government. This means that a lot of commercial decisions have been standardised across all franchises.

In the UK we have a lot of very talented and experienced commercial candidates who will now feel limited by these measures. They will undoubtedly be looking to move into new sectors or overseas to transport operators who have more commercial freedoms.

Due to the pressures on public transport budgets, many candidates employed in the UK transport sector are also not getting annual pay increases or bonuses which is a factor making candidates more open to considering new opportunities.

4. Privatisation Experience

Here in the UK, the railways have been privatised since 1996 so some candidates have 25 years’ experience working within a competitive tendered private sector model. The UK franchising model is effectively changing to an enhanced concession model where the transport operator will no longer have revenue risk. We therefore expect certain bidding specialists in the UK to have less demand from UK transport groups as their input on bids will not be required to the extent it was pre-Covid.

5. Buoyancy of the Australian Market

Australia has a huge pipeline of infrastructure projects, with total engineering and construction expenditure over 2020 to 2025 expected to equal $1,095 billion. Major public infrastructure expenditure will account for 20% of this.

Therefore, we expect there will be a derived demand for talent across both infrastructure and operations in the result of public transport investment.

Although Covid-19 has negatively impacted upon passenger transport demand however logistics and freight has benefitted hugely from the market changes. Mordor Intelligence predicts a growth rate of 5.85% CAGR from the Australia freight and logistics market between 2022-2027.

6. Market conditions

The UK market is going through a significant readjustment due to Covid-19 with many organisations suffering from budget reductions leading to redundancies, pay freezes and non-existent bonuses.

Add to this the UK economy is experiencing high inflation (predicted by the Bank of England to increase to over 7% by April 2022), many candidates in the UK transport sector are experiencing a notable drop in their “real” wages as they are not getting pay increases.

7. Plans have been put on hold

There is pent up demand from candidates seeking international career opportunities, who have had to put their plans on hold for the last couple of years due to the impact of Covid-19. We have spoken with plenty of candidates since the start of 2022 who planned to move overseas just as countries closed borders to stop the spread of the virus.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of really great candidates within Australia, but if your domestic search has run into a dead end make sure that you get in touch with us to see how we could assist you finding suitable candidates keen to relocate from the UK to Australia.

It would be great to learn about your experience with recruiting from the UK into your business.

You can schedule a time that works for you via this link; https://calendly.com/rd–20/internationalrecruitment to diarise a time directly or please do let me know what times could work for a brief introductory call.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director