Greeks still seeking employment in UK despite Brexit

With the highest unemployment rate in Europe, Greeks remain undaunted by Brexit uncertainty

Greeks still seeking employment in UK despite Brexit

World Bulletin / News Desk

A few months ago young Greeks working and living in the U.K. were faced with the fear and uncertainty of what will happen to them after Brexit. However, a few months later and the U.K. remains a popular employment destination for many Greeks.

Greeks are among the nationalities with the largest increase in registrations for British tax numbers in the year to March, rising 13 percent to 15,000, according to the official data released by the U.K.’s Department for Work and Pensions.

Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019 after voting to end its membership in a June 2016 referendum.

However, much uncertainty remains over what rights EU citizens will have to live and work in the U.K. once it departs the European Union.

One of the primary reasons Greeks search for work abroad are salaries, says Katerina Lyckou who works as a media analyst in Oxford.

“I am here for almost seven months and I am already earning twice as much as I would make if I was in Greece, and not only this, but the advancement possibility is much higher here than it is in Greece.

“You don’t need to know the right people to be in the right job here. If you deserve it, then you’ll get it, unlike my homeland,” she tells Anadolu Agency.

Many young Greeks' English-language skills are of benefit to them in the U.K. and there is a perception that employment opportunities are greater.

According to official data published by Eurostat, Europe’s highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece (21.7 percent in May 2017) and Spain (17.1 percent in July 2017). Crisis-hit Greece remains locked into an internationally-funded bailout, but expects to exit this in 2018.

George Grigoropoulos, is a senior internal credit risk auditor at an international bank based in the City of London. Having been in the U.K. for 12 years, Grigoropoulos thinks Brexit will not necessarily hinder Greeks from coming.

Applications by Greeks for positions at his bank have increased massively, he says.

He explained that in 2005 the percentage of Greeks coming to the U.K. for work was not as high as now. However, he noted that, given the economic situation in Greece,“any place would be more attractive for Greeks than Greece itself”.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Eylül 2017, 17:33