The return of the OE could see 'brain drain' experts warn

With the borders set to swing open by October 2022, it's made it easier for Kiwis to come home and to leave too. 

Experts are warning Aotearoa could see a "brain drain" with talented young workers ready to commit to an OE after COVID put it on hold for two years. 

Rhys Radcliffe told Newshub he is excited to finally move to Melbourne because he was meant to be there now, but with the risk of not returning because of a clogged up MIQ he put it off. 

"In September, my uncle died, unexpectedly and one of the most upsetting parts of that was seeing his son do his eulogy from over in Queensland, so I'd hate to be in that position myself."

With the Government announcing a five-step plan to open up to the world on Thursday, young Kiwi's now have the freedom they didn't have for the past two years - come and go for things like emergencies. 

For Nicole Austin, her OE was pushed back in 2020 and now her heels are hot and she's ready to go. 

"I was headed to England May 2020 but obviously that didn't work out as planned with covid, had the visa and everything sorted but that just got cancelled so I just stayed put the last couple of years and rebooked for May this year."

With many young Kiwis ready to go and see the world after spending the past two years in Aoeteraoa, principal economist at Infometrics Brad Olsen warns businesses could be under some pressure to fill the gaps.

"What we could expect to see is a bit of a brain drain out of the country there are quite a lot of young Kiwis who have been sitting here, patiently waiting,"

"I think businesses are going to be under some pressure to get workers into the country to fill some of those gaps that we're going to see emerge," he added.

Flight Centre managing director David Coombes say the influx almost immediately as soon as the border changes were announced with the first major bookings were Kiwis coming home. 

"Almost 90 per cent of our customers want to travel internationally when they can do and when the restrictions are gone but at the moment they're making preliminary enquiries, whereas kiwis coming home that's definitely the peak of it."