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Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

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European Au Pairs decline drastically in the UK after Brexit, agency claims

Jul 17, 2017

The number of Europeans willing to work in the UK has fallen by 40-50 per cent in the past two years, according to figures collected by agencies that organise work for young people in families.

The British Au Pair Agencies Association (BAPAA) has said the EU referendum was to blame because young people now perceived the UK as ‘anti-foreigner.’ “I estimate that au pair applications for the UK are at least 50 percent down compared with this time last year,” said BAPAA president Rebecca Haworth-Wood.

AuPairWorld, an agency based in Germany and WYSE Travel Confederation member, said it had seen applications for Britain drop from 21,000 in the first half of 2015 to 12,000 in the first half of 2017. Online forums reveal a flood of complaints from UK families unable to find an au pair. “It’s horrific this year. We usually have over 100 applications. This year it’s us doing all the applying (to girls who have over 100 responses),” wrote one parent. Another lamented, “Eventually we found someone but it was such hard work. Bloody Brexit.”

Research for the British Educational Travel Association has suggested that the number of youngsters travelling to the UK is in decline as countries such as the USA and Ireland prove more attractive. Researchers analysed data from 336 businesses which deal with 1.5 million young and student travellers from 60 countries. Surveys were conducted between September 2016 and last month.

About 6.3 million young people came to the UK for leisure, 4.3 million to visit family and friends and 476,900 to learn English. The average length of stay was 8.2 weeks. Nearly all — 96 percent — headed for London. The next most popular destinations were Oxford, Manchester and Brighton. The research concluded that friendlier visa policies and better promotion meant that youth travel organisations in the USA, Australia and Canada have been growing at a quicker pace than the UK, especially in the higher education sector.

The popularity of Ireland for English-language training has also increased, primarily as a consequence of currency moves.

Source: The Times, July 2017