WORKgateways UK e-newsletter
Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveller
June 2010, Volume 6 Issue 6
The WORKgateways e-newsletter is written for working travellers bound for the UK hailing from all over the globe — from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and more. Whether you're already in the UK, impatiently awaiting your departure date or thinking about going in the future, we've got something for you. Scroll down to view this month's info.
In every issue
Summer has well and truly kicked off the in the UK, with happy revellers basking in the sunshine over the past few weeks and the recent long weekend — we're all preparing for a corker of a summer, fingers crosses! Meanwhile, the UK is settling into a new government after an exciting election at the beginning of May and World Cup fever is taking hold ahead of the beginning of the tournament next week. It's a great time to arrive in the UK and get your job search started, so check out all the handy visa and bank account news we've got for you, and don't forget to visit WORKgateways to register with agencies, apply to positions and get that UK job search underway.
New UK Government in Power
It was a nail-biting few days after last month's UK election provided no clear winner. A hung parliament was declared and Gordon Brown stepped down as UK Prime Minister, paving the way for the Lib Dems and the Tories to join forces in the UK's first Coalition government since 1945.
The Conservatives won the most seats in May's UK general election, but not enough to secure an overall Commons majority, resulting in a hung parliament. After Gordon Brown's resignation, David Cameron has been sworn in as Britain's new Prime Minister, with the Conservative leader Nick Clegg taking place as his Deputy. The new Government has already got underway reviewing the previous government's policies and legislation, including scrapping the plan for National Identity Cards for British citizens.
The UK Border Agency website has removed all information on its website relating to the immigration strategies and aims of the old UK government. Stay tuned for more information on new immigration news and policies from the new Coalition as they come to light.
Gearing up for the World Cup
The footy shirts are out, the flags are flying and pubs and bars across the UK are preparing for a month of mayhem when the World Cup kicks off on 11 June.
Despite the loss of an injured Beckham, spirits in England are buoyant about a possible victory for the English team in this years' Cup in South Africa, while Australia is lamenting their inclusion in a tough group (including Germany, Serbia and Ghana). The tournament, from 11 June to 11 July, starts with a match in Johannesburg between host nation South Africa and Mexico.
If you weren't lucky enough to bag tickets, the great news is that if you're in the UK, you're in for a big party. Bars and pubs all over are planning special events, with cut-price drinks and screenings of key matches. The expected spending increase on food, drinks, newspapers and betting is even predicted to delivery a boost to the British economy, with supermarkets also going into a price war on booze and footy snacks.Find out what's going in London for the World Cup here.
Great Deals on UK Bank Accounts
Our fantastic special on UK bank accounts continues this month for a limited time only, and you can organise the no-fuss Kickstart package for just $50 (instead of the normal price of $85).
As many people have found out the hard way, opening a UK bank account as an individual in the UK is incredibly difficult and for the most part impossible for many new arrivals. For this reason, thousands of travellers heading to the UK purchase bank account start up packages in advance to assist them in opening an account. The packages are available through traveller companies like 1st Contact who have long-established relationships with many credible banks in the UK.
Traveller companies such as Fastrack UK also offer packages where you can get your bank account set up before you even leave Australia, saving you money in international transaction fees when you arrive in the UK and ensure you land on your feet and can concentrate on settling in. Find out about the Fastrack package here — it also includes extras like assistance getting your National Insurance number sorted out, a free international transfer, discount vouchers and more.
Want to work in the UK and need to find out the best visa option for you? Chances are you know already but if you don't, UK-based company Lesters are able to offer you expert guidance. This month, here is their quick handy guide to possible visa options...
Understanding the UK entry system and the benefits of the different visas is not easy. We British are extremely bureaucratic and therefore, it is no surprise that legislation surrounding visas is ever changing. We don't do things by halves either and if you ask a Brit what the recent changes to the Tier 1 or Tier 2 legislation were, the response will be filled with all sorts of wonderful terminology but it probably won't leave you with any better understanding.
Therefore, at Lesters we have outlined the basic changes to hopefully make it simpler to understand:
Tier 1 (Highly Skilled)
- Applicants no longer have to hold a Master's degree
- Applicants now need to attain 95 points via the UKBA points-based system, whereas it was 75 previously
- Applicants on Tier 1 are now only allowed entry into the UK for two years (it used to be three)
Tier 2 (Sponsorship)
- The minimum salary requirement for a candidate via the points-based system has increased from £17,000 to £20,000
- If a candidate wishes to switch their visa to a different employer within the same industry they do not have to reapply for a new visa
So what does this all mean and how does it affect you? With our team of accountants, professional tax experts and business consultants, Lesters is well placed to answer this question and discuss the best option based on your own circumstances. This can include discussing your specific employment needs and directing you to proven recruitment agencies in that field.
Whether you are tentatively thinking of coming to the UK, or already have a ticket booked, feel free to get in contact. For more information or to request a phone call on any of the above please email Nick Grant: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Summer Destinations
Granada, Spain: Lesser known than its sister Spanish cities, Barcelona and Madrid, beautiful Granada is nestled down in southern Spain in the state of Andalucia. A couple of hours by train and bus from Seville, its Moorish influence is particularly evident in the jewel of Granada — the stunning and sprawling Alhambra palace. Perfect for a 2-day weekend, or as part of an extended Spanish tour, Granada is also known for its shisha bars and as one of the few places in Spain where you regularly get free (and sizeable!) tapas sent to your table when you order drinks. Spanish airline Iberia and British Airways fly direct from London.
Lisbon, Portugal: Sunny and coastal, but surprisingly not on many travellers' itineraries when they are planning a European summer — Lisbon should not be ignored. It's got everything you want from a summer break city — a vibrant nightlife with trendy bars and clubs, labyrinthine cobblestoned streets, stunning views and of course, almost guaranteed sunshine. Purported to be one of the oldest cities in the world, you can walk almost everywhere and view all the sights in a couple of days — leaving enough time to head to the beach, or sample some of the world-famous custard tarts in Belém. We know we'll be going back.
Ljubljana, Slovenia: With the feel of a large, modern European city and the charm of a small and friendly town that has newly emerged onto more and more backpacker itineraries, Ljubljana is an often overlooked summer destination. Crammed with cute cocktail bars and restaurants, it most appeals to nature lovers, with lots of options for cycling and hiking in the beautiful natural surrounds. Lake Bled nearby is one of the most picturesque daytrips. Easyjet and other budget airlines fly direct from London. To find out more, go to Visit Ljubljana.
Want to make sure your money is looked after while you're travelling? Check out our useful guide to Travel Money, including the best ways to manage your cash and how to get the most out of exchange rates.
WORKgateways has partnered with Tranzfers and Ozforex to give you quick and easy tools to help you manage your money.
Tranzfers is a cheap and easy way to transfer your money internationally — we know because we use them too. They have great rates (£7/$15AUD per transfer — the cheapest we have found) and you can manage everything easily online.
UK Job Update
With the start of the new tax year, a new government and a traditionally busy recruiting season — the UK job market is experiencing an interesting time right now. Here's what you need to know...
In the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Town Planning industries, recruitment has been temporarily put into hibernation as many private companies and local authorities wait for the newly elected governments' emergency budget on 22 June to be announced.
Founder of WORKgateways, Quinn Askeland, says: 'Traditionally summer is a great time for finding a job and usually the budgets get announced in April, so I expect things will kick off a little later this year than usual.'
'Based on previous years though, August and September present great opportunities for candidates looking for work as budgets often take a month or two to work their way through to hiring teams. We expect Town Planning, Engineering Design and Architecture to lead alongside Infrastructure Maintenance, including roads, in the coming months.'
Employment prospects remain strong in the Medical, Nursing and Social Work industries, with Specialist Doctors and Nurses continuing to be in particularly high demand. For Doctors, candidates are also sought after in Emergency and Critical Care posts. For Nurses, the demand is in Midwifery, ICU, Emergency and Mental Health. Great news for social workers with children or youth experience — employment demand for suitable candidates with this experience is insatiable. That said, all Social Workers with a couple years solid experience will find good opportunities. Not to be forgotten is the ongoing need for Radiographers and Sonographers throughout the UK.
In every issue
WIN! New Lonely Planet Encounter Guide to Dublin
The fab Lonely Planet 'Encounter' series of guidebooks are pocket-sized gems when you're only visiting a city for a few days — they list the top 'must-see' sights as well as quick reference lists for the best bars, restaurants and museums in town, plus all the other handy info you expect from Lonely Planet.
Dublin is one of those great towns — all spirit and books and bars and conversation. Languid afternoons in St Stephen's Green, chilly nights in the warmth of a pub, a magnificent literary tradition and music everywhere — ahh, the delights of this legendary Irish party town. This month, we have five copies of the BRAND NEW Lonely Planet ENCOUNTER DUBLIN guide to give away to some lucky working travellers. Just send us an email with DUBLIN in the subject line (and your mailing address). Entries close end of June.
Winners of last month's DISCOVER BRITAIN giveaway
Jessica Pollock, Allan Todd, Danielle Taylor and Gladys Wong. Enjoy!