HIGHER wages, a lower cost of living, cheaper and bigger houses and around 138 days of sunshine a year. Sounds good, right?

That’s the pitch of the Western Australian government, which toured the UK last week in a self-confessed bid to "steal" British workers away Down Under.

A delegation from the state – the country’s largest by land mass – visited Edinburgh on Tuesday, promising Scottish healthcare workers, teachers, electricians and support workers vastly higher salaries than they would expect to earn at home.

The National: EMBARGOED TO 0001 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 22 File photo dated 5/1/2022 of a view of the Edinburgh skyline showing the Balmoral Clock and Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland,. Edinburgh has been identified as the UK's most "liveable" city for

According to data supplied by the Western Australian government, the average nurse or secondary teacher could expect to earn 158% in Oz than in the UK.

Mine drillers were promised the biggest salary uplift, with yearly average pay around 273% higher Down Under than in Britain, the data showed.

While the government cannot do much about Britain’s lousy weather, trade unions have said the attractiveness of the offer compared with what workers might make at home made it “little wonder that people may travel, literally to the other side of the planet, for the opportunity of a better life”.

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Roz Foyer, the general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, told the Sunday National: “It’s entirely the right of the Western Australian government to promote both their economy and their shortages of skilled labour.

“This is, regrettably, a by-product of a flatlining UK economy, propped up by poor wages and a cost-of-living crisis that has spiralled out of control.

"It’s little wonder that people may travel, literally to the other side of the planet, for the opportunity of a better life.

“In Scotland, we want to retain our brightest and best, creating an economy that works for all. That aim continues to be stifled whilst decision-makers refuse to properly fund our public services and, crucially, the fine public servants who work within them.”

"A beautiful country"

Meanwhile, Unison – the UK’s largest union – said it was understandable why people would move 9156 miles away in search of a better life amid a staffing crisis in the Scottish NHS.

The public sector union said Scotland ought to have a world-leading offer for healthcare professionals if the country hoped to retain talent in the sector.

Unison's regional secretary in Scotland, Tracey Dalling, said: “I would like to wish anyone who is thinking of emigrating to Australia all the best. Scots have a long history of emigration around the world and Australia is a beautiful country.

"It’s not an easy thing to do but I can understand why many families make this choice.

“It’s also true that Scotland need’s more people to live here, not less. It is why Unison campaigns to make our public services attractive places to work.

“NHS Scotland has a staff crisis with thousands of unfilled vacancies. It is a simple reality that we are competing for workers in a global market.

"We need to ensure wages and working conditions in Scotland match the best in the world.

“We not only need to get more Scots to choose public services as a career and stay in the workforce, but also to attract people from around the world to come to Scotland to work.”

READ MORE: BMA Scotland chief warns NHS cannot survive in current state

The UK has strong historical ties with Australia – even if immigrants from Blighty were not always well received in Oz, earning the unfortunate nickname “whinging poms” by some of the country’s more established settlers.

“Ten pound poms” arrived in their thousands in the mid to late 20th century and were made a similar offer by an Australian government gripped by an existential battle to boost its economy.

However, on arrival, many found the Australian dream had been oversold and many returned back to Britain after miserable, jobless stays in migration hostels.

And Australia is not the only country hoping to poach talented but disaffected UK workers.

The Lithuanian government recently sponsored an ad campaign across London pitched at tech workers who had recently been made redundant by Facebook’s parent company Meta or Twitter.

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Adverts sprung up around the city, asking: “Got fired by Meta or Twitter? Move to Vilnius”. Underneath, a QR code which passers-by could scan with their mobile phones, took those curious to a website sponsored by the Lithuanian capital’s local government.

The eastern European country again can promise workers in sought-after sectors, such as technology, engineering and life sciences a better quality of life and higher pay.

A UK Government spokesperson said: "We are proud of the close ties we have with Australia, and the strong free trade agreement we signed will make it easier for Brits to go and work in Australia, and Australians to come and work here.

“We are growing the economy as a top government priority, by investing in exciting growth sectors like advanced manufacturing and life sciences, supporting and creating high value jobs through trade, and levelling up communities across the UK.

“The UK Government is committed to working with the Scottish Government to deliver for people in Scotland, tackling the shared challenges we face, and seize collective future opportunities in the years to come.”

The Scottish Government did not respond to a request for comment.