About International Workers Day
Every year on May 1st global communities observe International Workers Day. This annual public holiday is an opportunity to celebrate hard-working professionals in all lines of work, by commemorating the success of international workers’ rights groups, such as the Federation of Organised Trades and Labour Unions (FOTLU).
In 1884, it was the FOTLU who stood up for workers everywhere by demanding better working conditions and new employment standards, such as an 8 hour working day. On May 1st 1886, thousands of workers attended a strike organised by FOTLU, demanding this request be taken seriously.
Every nation has their own unique history of working-class heroes who forged the way for the next generation by improving general working conditions. International Workers Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to those who continue to dedicate their lives in the name of workers rights.
International Workers Day: Profession Perceptions
In the spirit of representation and celebration of all workers, we have analysed the Profession Perceptions international study conducted by YouGov, reviewing the feedback of 22,000 participants from 16 countries. All of these individuals were asked about their preconceived notions of different jobs and we have compiled this report of our eye-opening findings.
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Profession Perceptions: Parental Support
At the end of 2020, participants from 16 nations were asked whether or not they would be happy for their child to pursue different lines of work. To examine how people feel about each job, all 22,000 respondents had to answer the following question truthfully: “Outside of the coronavirus pandemic, generally speaking, would you be happy or unhappy if one of your children held this kind of job?”
According to the data, German people are most encouraging of their childrens’ careers, no matter what job title they hold. From conventional roles such as lawyer (79%), medical doctor (80%) and architect (82%), to more unconventional career paths like artist (53%) and Musician (56%), we found German respondents approved of most occupations.
The generally supportive and positive outlook of German respondents in this study could be explained by the fact national job satisfaction in the country is one of the highest in Europe. In a 2019 survey 71% of Germans said they were satisfied with their job: putting the country in 6th place, globally, in terms of job satisfaction.
In terms of general support for their children's career choices, the UK and Sweden came in second and third place, respectively, after Germany. Conversely, we found Spain to be the least supportive country; with only 1 in 3 Spanish parents approving of their children's chosen profession.
Profession Perceptions: Nursing
It came as a surprise to learn that nursing received a mixed response from participants in this study. Of the 16 countries involved in the study, the highest negative response to nursing comes from Poland, where 33% of parents say they would be unhappy if their child chose to pursue a career as a nurse.
We discovered that only 4 in 10 (38%) Polish parents would support their child’s choice to become a nurse. This is the lowest figure reported in Europe, surpassed only by Mexico (37%) and China (30%).
Comparatively, 71% of Britons say they would be happy for their child to pursue a career in nursing. Britons voted medical doctor as another highly-respected profession, so according to this study, parents in the UK value occupations in the healthcare field more than other nationalities.
These statistics follow reports of a huge increase in support for the UK's National Health Service (NHS): from 46% of the UK population in March 2020 to 72% in March 2021. It would appear respect for nurses has increased as a direct result of the integral role healthcare workers have played in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) there are only 5 nurses for every 1,000 people in Poland; the 5th lowest of all the OECD countries. This could explain Polish parents’ negative response to nursing as a profession, as the country’s healthcare system is likely to be suffering as a result of staff shortages. This will have had a knock-on effect to working conditions and for this reason, Polish parents may not want their children to venture down this particular career path.
The support for nursing careers from UK parents was closely followed by Australia and the United States, who both expressed happiness at the prospect of their child pursuing nursing. Given the fact Australia and the United States have more than double the number of nurses as Poland - 11.8 per 1,000 population - it is likely the working conditions experienced by their nurses are substantially better than in Poland. This could explain the different perceptions of this line of work.
Despite the UK’s outpouring of encouragement for the nursing profession in this study, the country's National Health Service has battled with significant staff shortages for the last decade. Over the last 10 years, the NHS has seen a substantial decline in the number of registered nurses, reporting vacancies in approximately 1 in 10 nursing posts. As a result, the nation relies heavily on the recruitment of foreign nurses.
For many of these foreign nurses, living and working in the UK will mean leaving family and friends behind, as well as their lives in their home countries. We understand that expatriate nurses, along with all international workers, may need to send and receive money internationally: these workers are one demographic we strive to provide affordable and flexible transfer options for.
Other countries mirroring the UK’s positive attitude toward nurses includes Australia (71%), the United States (69%), and Germany (65%). Interestingly, these three countries have some of the highest proportions of foreign nurses of the 16 participating countries.
Profession Perceptions: Lowest Rated Jobs
The jobs ranked lowest by parents include professions as a miner, truck driver and factory worker: miners were ranked lowest by parents in Spain, Mexico and Italy.
As a profession, social media influencer was generally unpopular across the board, especially with Europeans: almost half of Spanish respondents (48%) revealed they would be unhappy if their child pursued this job. The same opinion is held by 43% of parents in Germany and Poland, 41% in the UK and Italy, 40% in France, 38% in Denmark and 36% in Sweden.
Due to the growing number of social media users globally, jobs in influencer marketing are on the rise, despite it being a profession which did not existing 10 years ago. Typically a self-employed role, social media influencers often freelance for international clients and therefore are interested in learning how to avoid bank charges for global transfers. In some countries, this is a lucrative occupation; some of the most wealthy social media stars have built online empires worth millions.
We wanted to find out why parents’ did not approve of careers in social media influencing, despite its seemingly glamorous nature. In a 2019 study 2,000 British parents took part in a survey about their children's career aspirations. According to the research, 1 in 5 children had vocalised a desire to become a social media influencer. However, 58% of the parents who took part in the survey did not know this was a profitable profession and almost half (45%) did not understand what the role entailed. With this in mind, we believe a lack of understanding could explain the negative response from parents in the Profession Perceptions study.
Profession Perceptions: Highest Rated Jobs
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the data reveals conventionally high-paid, high-responsibility professions like scientist, doctor, architect, senior manager and lawyer are the most popular among parents. Historically these jobs are well-respected professions in most countries, so it is not surprising that parents from all over the world hold these jobs in high regard.
Scientist and medical doctor were the top two most popular jobs according to parents and we expect this also ties into the public's perception of these occupations following the crucial part they played during COVID-19.
Overall, this study suggests Britons are more encouraging and supportive of their children's career choices than most nationalities. On average, only Australian and German parents were reported to have more favourable perceptions of professions than UK parents.
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Eager to understand how different countries’ perceive different professions, MoneyTransfers.com analysed data acquired by YouGov in their latest international study, to compile this special International Workers Day report.
22,000 people from 16 countries were surveyed as part of the study. The countries surveyed included: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Poland, the United States, Mexico, UAE, India, Australia, China, Indonesia and Singapore.
To discover how parents in these 16 countries respond to different professions, the study asked each participant, “Outside of the coronavirus pandemic, generally speaking would you be happy or unhappy if one of your children held this kind of job? If you don't have children imagine that you did."
For this question, respondents could pick one answer from a choice of three possible options: ‘Happy', 'Neither happy nor unhappy' or 'Unhappy'
In order to appropriately analyse the feedback from each country, MoneyTransfers.com grouped the data presented into the following categories for further analysis: "The 5 Most Popular Professions According to Parents", "The 5 Least Popular Professions According to Parents", "The Proportion of Foreign Trained Nurses in OECD Countries; 2019 or latest year", "Practising Nurses per 1,000 population; 2019 or most recent year", "How Parents in Different Countries Perceive Nursing as a Profession" and "How Parents in Different Countries Support their Children's Career Choices."