AUSTRALIA has emerged as the second most desired location, behind only the US, for people to live and work, a report says.
The Global Professionals on the Move 2012 report from recruiting firm Hydrogen Group says Australia's popularity was due to its lifestyle and standard of living, as well as the career opportunities presented by the mining boom.
Hydrogen managing director for Australia Ivan Jackson said there were 404 natural resources projects taking place in Australia worth about $A450 billion.
"A lack of relevant skilled professionals is one of the main barriers to bringing these projects to fruition," Mr Jackson said in the report, which was released today.
"Many oil and gas projects are reaching a point where they will suddenly need several thousand extra workers.
"In the next two to three years recruitment to Australia will be at its highest ever."
Overseas experience was also highly valued by employers, particularly in the energy sector, the report said.
Hydrogen said while 59 per cent of its clients stated international experience was important in prospective employees, the figure rose to 100 per cent for those from the energy sector.
"In fact, the opportunity to work overseas is one of the reasons young people enter the profession," the report said.
The report said the most common reason working professionals were seeking jobs overseas was to develop their careers.
Some 90 per cent of respondents believed relocating for work accelerated their personal development, while 86 per cent said it improved their career prospects.
Moreover, 83 per cent said their salaries rose on the back of their overseas experience.
The report found 15 per cent of women working overseas were women aged 40 years and above, compared with nearly 50 per cent of men in the same age demographic.
The survey, which was conducted by ESCP Europe, comprised responses from 2,353 professionals from 85 different countries obtained during November 2011.