London is the world's top talent magnet, eclipsing Amsterdam and New York. Yet it’s this country that beckons most

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London has long been continental Europe’s financial hub, with its vibrant Square Mile and the range of banks it’s home to.

Clearly, even Brexit couldn’t dull its charm because the city is still a talent magnet unlike any other. 

For years, the British capital has ranked as the top destination among those looking for work—and this year was no different, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on the global workforce published Wednesday.

“This is a position that it has maintained for a decade, with the capital consistently ranked the highest for the quality of jobs and the quality of life available,” Nick South, BCG’s managing director and senior partner, told Fortune. “This is extremely positive for the U.K. capital.”

What’s not to like about London? Participants of the survey, which covered over 150,000 people worldwide, pointed to London being an English-speaking country with a diverse workforce and opportunities abound. It’s also close enough to Europe and conveniently located between the States and the rest of Asia. That’s why it’s ahead of other destinations, including New York, Amsterdam and Dubai. In theory, it’s got it all. 

But, turns out, that’s still not nearly enough to get the U.K. a shining review. Of the countries people prefer to move to, Australia trumps Britain to take the top spot, BCG found. The U.S. and Canada rank second and third, while the U.K. ranks fourth.

Participants cited the cost of living, ease of securing visas and quality of education as reasons behind choosing one country over another. 

The U.K. is still ahead of its European peers like France and Germany as a destination for global employees. 

“London’s position as the most desirable city, a position it has retained for many years, is both a promise and a challenge,” South said. While it reaffirms the city’s draw among global talent, he added that British businesses should remain open to “home-grown and international workers alike.”

In search of greener pastures

People choose to move to Down Under because of its warm weather, low visa barrier and English fluency, among other reasons. Besides lifestyle reasons, Australia has also ranked among the top countries for highly skilled talent in past studies, thanks to its job opportunities. The country has risen from seventh in BCG’s list to first in 10 years.

The findings come at a time when the U.K. and Australia are overhauling their immigration system to tighten the criteria for those looking to enter the country. Britain has seen its fair share of struggles attracting inter-Europe talent following Brexit.

However, labor shortages pose a real threat, which immigration helps address. In 2022, the U.K. had a record surge in arrivals amid global conflicts and a talent shortfall. 

“Labor migration represents a prime opportunity to bridge this gap,” Sebastian Dettmers, CEO of BCG’s survey partner The Stepstone Group, said in a statement. “We must adapt our job markets to be more versatile, enabling workers to move to where they are most needed and where they can find the best positions for their skills and aspirations.”

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