An open global economies is having a dramatic impact on the UK workforces, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), with more than a quarter (28%) of UK employees now working in an internationally-focused role.

The study found employers are increasingly demanding that employees understand market operations and business cultures in foreign markets to help drive business growth – with nine in ten employers seeing employees’ international-outlook, skills and experiences key to improving their bottom line.

Over half (55%) believe that, as a result of taking up international career opportunities employees become more engaged in their role, while 53% believe employees are more successful in bringing in new business opportunities.

Employers estimate that international experience increases an individual’s average gross earnings by 15% within one to three years. While employees at organisations which offer international career opportunities are, on average, likely to stay for almost four years longer than they would have otherwise.

The positive effect of a workforce with an international outlook is also felt by the UK economy, with the productivity increase associated with taking up a more international career estimated to contribute £9.4 billion (0.6%) in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA).

[b]The international fast track to career progression[/b]

Overall the majority of employees (61%) who have international experience believe they are able to progress more quickly within their organisation, relative to those colleagues who have not had any international experience. This increases to 74% of employers who perceive that exposure to global markets enable their employees to progress more quickly in their career.

The skills gained by employees with global experiences include:

· New foreign language (46%)· Greater awareness of global economic and political issues (43%)· Increased awareness, tolerance and cultural sensitivity (64%)· Ability to be more flexible and adaptable to diverse problems and situations (64%)

Shruti Uppala, Economist from the CEBR, said: “The diversity of the UK’s labour market brings a broad range of benefits to the UK economy. Businesses benefit from a forward thinking and diverse workforce equipped with international languages and cultural knowledge. This enhances the firm’s ability to conduct business in international markets which is critical for business growth.

"With a clear consensus among business decision makers that demand for international career opportunities will continue to rise, it’s vital that organisations resolve this communications gap or risk missing out on attracting the next generation of top talent.”