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WORKgateways UK e-newsletter

Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveler

11th July 2003 Volume 1 Issue 8

WORKgateways e-newsletter is written for UK working travellers whether you are in the UK, impatiently awaiting your departure date or thinking about going in the future….scroll down to view this month’s topics, articles and info.


Introductory Comments: Welcoming in a new era….

What’s New:

In the UK!

Still in Australia/NZ/SA/Canada?

In Every Issue:

Visit to read our past issues.

Introductory Comments – Welcoming in a new era…

I have two things to talk about in this issue.

One is the fantastic news that we finally have seen some action from the British Home Office with regards the changes to UK working holiday visas that they had proposed last year. I cannot tell you how many eager working travellers have called this office to enquire after any tidbit of news. Unfortunately, for the longest time we were in the dark as well, but promised to let everyone know when the news broke. Nearly three weeks ago it became official and WORKgateways sent out a special e-news issue to you all. For details of exactly what the changes are, see Industry News below. Not often do new regulations see a relaxation of the old ones these days; it gives one some confidence in the ability of the powers that be to think rationally and apply foresight when proposing and passing laws and regulations, doesn’t it? Well, maybe just a bit.

Secondly, for those working travellers who have not yet left and are still in the planning stages of their big trip…what do you want to know about? Me, I would want info on flights, accommodation, transportation, cost of living, visas, tax, health and of course help with UK jobs, recruitment agencies, NI Numbers, and Ltd Companies.
Can you think of anything else WORKgateways could tell you about in preparation for your trip? Reply to this e-news letter with your ideas and comments. I always look forward to the responses we get to our newsletters.

Summer is in full swing in the UK with pub courtyards completely overflowing. Many working travellers are enjoying the warms days by travelling Europe before planning to start work in late August, September or even in October. Most job industry updates are promising for the upcoming autumn working season, see Job Industry Updates below. Be sure WORKgateways has your updated resume and your UK contact details if applicable.

Hasta la proxima….


What’s New

1) Some Industry Updates…..

Positive job outlooks continue in most industries, some updates are below…

Construction: Last month we said that the construction market was slower than usual and that the reason for this was a bit of a mystery. It still is, however most reports coming back from the UK indicate that the situation has stabilized and is looking to being to pick up in late July/August. There is still work to be found, however job search timeframes have increased slightly depending on your specialisation. Construction professionals such as Project Managers, Planners, Estimators and Quantity Surveyors are still in a good position to find work fairly quickly upon arrival in the UK.

Electricians: as of February this year you will need to be JIB (Joint Industry Board) registered before working on site in the UK. For further details see last month’s e-newsletter issue on-line at

Engineering: Engineering design recruitment is as busy as ever; particularly sought after at present are Traffic Engineers, Roads Designers and Rail Design Engineers.

Accounting and Legal: the accounting and legal recruitment market in the UK has not changed much in the last month. It is slightly slower than usual due to current economic factors however there still is work available for those with applicable experience. For further details see last month’s e-newsletter issue on-line at

The recruitment industry for Health Professionals as well as for Education Professionals is still going strong with no changes to report; Town Planning is continuing to be very busy as well with a good constant outlook for the rest of July and August.

2) Visa News - Faster than a speeding bullet

News of the changes to the UK working holiday visa regulations spread like wildfire throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK late last month, most likely ushering in a new wave of applications as the upper age limit rose from 27 to 30 years.

The changes announced are summarised below:

What was changed:

  • Upper age limit (upper age limit has increased from 27 years to 30 years)
  • Restriction on professional work lifted (holders of UK working holiday visas are not restricted on the type of work they undertake)
  • Ability for working holiday makers to apply to ‘switch’ visa status to work permit employment after 12 months in the UK. Certain criteria must be met.

What wasn’t changed:

  • Ability to apply for a second working holiday visa (this is still not allowed however there is a chance that this provision will be added to the list of changes in due course.)


  • These changes officially come into effect for new applications from 25th August 2003.
  • Those eligible to apply for the visa are now Commonwealth citizens aged 17 to 30 years.
  • You still need to provide proof of sufficient funds in your bank account, usually about £2000.

If you have friends or colleagues that may be interested in going to the UK – feel free to pass this email on. They can join our free newsletter through

Please note we are not a visa agency. The official announcement can be viewed at:

Focus: Weighing up your UK job offer

For all too many people the joy of actually getting job interviews and actually getting an offer from a company is quickly replaced with a dilemma. If you are offered a job that meets all your criteria straight away, you are very lucky and I hope you accept without hesitation. However in most cases, perhaps only 5 to 8 points of your ‘ten point’ perfect job criteria list will be met by any given job offer. Now what?

What should your criteria be?
(Order of importance depends only on you)

1. Location (commuting distance, cost of living) – factor in your transportation costs
2. Type of company (large, boutique, private sector, local government etc)
3. Job Description (daily duties and responsibilities)
4. Office Environment (peers, managers, work hours, dress code)
5. Salary or hourly pay rate (and benefits, if any)
6. Type of job (contract or permanent, and duration of contract)
7. Career (Opportunity for skill development and career growth)
8. Extras, if any (overtime pay, vacation time, holiday pay, car, courses etc)
9. Gut feeling
10. Some weird and wonderful criteria specific to you, which I cannot even guess…

Tips to help you pinpoint that elusive ‘right choice’…


  • Be open and honest to your recruitment consultants about your job interview and offer situation. Don’t be haunted by your Year 4 teacher’s voice… ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave…’
  • Don’t take too long to decide on an offer; if you do accept it, you will want only good impressions to have preceded your first day.
  • Keep in mind that you are trying to get your foot in the door in your UK industry, 5 out of 10 criteria met on this job/contract could mean 9 out of 10 on your next one.
  • This is not always possible; however try to have something with which to compare your job offer. If you have only had one offer, talk to others working in your industry in the UK if possible. Sometimes your recruitment consultant can refer you to people they have placed in similar jobs for a bit of a chat.
  • If you have two equally good job offers, draw up a chart with two columns and, of your 10 criteria, see which jobs meets the most. If all else fails, flip a coin. Often, your job is what you make of it.

Good luck!

Your UK Interview:

This Month: UK Interview attire & etiquette – what is expected of you…

Interview attire:

You will need at least one suit (males and females) for the UK. This will be needed for your interviews with UK recruitment consultants upon arrival in the UK and will be needed for most, if not all, job interviews regardless of your industry.

If a uniform is required in your industry (nurses), day to day dress decisions are easier; however a suit for your initial interviews is still a good idea.

Many work environments in the UK will call for neat casual attire on a day to day basis. You will probably fit in to most employment environments (engineering, teaching, accounting, some medical) with a tucked-in, collared shirt or blouse, dress pants (or knee-length skirt) and appropriate dress shoes.

Who needs more than one suit? Those working within the financial or legal industry in the City of London will usually be dressing to impress.

Construction…dress pants and collared shirt for your interview followed by your hardhat, heavy boots and jeans thereafter.


Still In Australia/NZ/SA/Canada?

FAQ of the month:

Q. I applied for, and was granted, a working holiday visa last March because I was about to turn 28. I haven’t left yet for the UK but the validity period of my working holiday visa is already counting down. Ideally, I would prefer to wait awhile before going to the UK. Now that the age limit has increased, can I re-apply for another visa later on and cancel my old one that hasn’t been used yet?

A. Yes, apparently you can. Because you have not yet used your visa to enter the UK, you will be able to re-apply for a working holiday visa under the new regulations and receive a new visa at such time as you wish to travel. The new regulations go into effect 25th August so you would have to wait until after that date to re-apply. Do not re-apply until you are sure you are ready to go, so as not to waste any of your 2 years!

(Please note: We are not a Visa Agency and you should check with official UK government information at

UK Flights – Information and Advice

Outfits like Flight Centre can be fantastic; fast and efficient service and the lowest fares around. Some travellers really advocate going to your locally owned travel agent however. You may find they offer more personal advice for your particular travel plans; especially if you wish to follow a more complicated travel plan than ‘direct to London’.

For more information on on-line flight purchasing, well-known airlines and travel centres visit:

In Every Issue:

Trip Idea #8 The Isle of Mull

There really is not a better time to head up north than during the short but sweet summer months in the British Isles. Last month we suggested a rigorous hiking adventure in the Scottish Highlands, this month we want to open your eyes to the Scottish coastal islands.

Scotland has isles, inlets and coastline the likes of which you haven’t seen before. For a short time only the northern sun warms the sea and rocky coastline of the Scottish island archipelagos of The Hebrides making them perfect (or possible) for land or sea exploration. One of the largest Hebrides is Mull.

The Isle of Mull

Mull is a journey back in time. It is not touristy nor is it overly developed. It comes highly recommended by those who visit the green and mountainous isle. Mull offers quaint seaside towns, Benmore mountain, beaches, a medieval castle and monastery plus peace and quiet and fantastic fish and chips.

The port town of Oban is the gateway to Mull on Scotland’s mainland. The ancient and imposing Duart Castle (filming site for Sean Connery’s movie Entrapment) is in full view during your ferry crossing to Mull. The ferry deposits you at the very tiny outpost of Craignure where you can easily visit Duart Castle, if the Clan MacLean is not in residence! From Craignure, a local bus will take you along the coastal road to the island’s main town, Tobermory. Tobermory is the best place to base yourself -

Rent a car on the mainland and take it on the ferry, otherwise local buses can also take you from Tobermory to the beach at Calgary Bay and also to the village of Phionnfort at the far southwest corner of the island. The cable ferry to the tiny island of Iona leaves from Phionnfort. One of the most important religious sites in Scotland, the Isle of Iona is home to ancient Iona Abbey much of which still stands. Many stones and buildings date from 600AD and the abbey is the final resting place of several ancient and medieval Scottish kings.

Also from Phionnfort (pronounced ‘Finniferd’), a few small boat operators take visitors out to sea to visit the breathtaking natural wonder of the Isle of Staffa. Simply typing ‘enormous caves of giant basalt columns’ does not do the island justice – see a picture at In good weather and tide, it is possible to land on the island, and explore the monstrous cave – but hang on to the ropes.

How to get there:

The train to Oban (the mainland gateway to Mull) leaves London’s Kings Cross Station around midday, connections in Edinburgh and in Glasgow are required. The journey from London to Oban will take about 9 hours. Oban is full of great accommodation options.

Where to stay:

Cheap, cosy and communal: Jeremy Inglis Hostel, 21 Airds Crescent, Oban. Phone: 01631 565065/563064
Treat yourself: The Oban Bay Hotel. Luxury and history overlooking the Firth of Lorne (the water).

SYHA (Scottish Hostels) has a hostel on main street in Tobermory. Several Guesthouses and B&B’s operate: visit


Stuff you might like: Visit the LINK of the Month…... – locate your nearest internet café, wherever you are in the world

Your Say: email your say to

Do you have questions, comments; is there anything you’d like to see addressed in WORKgateways e-newsletter? Please email with any comments.

If you like what you’ve read – send this to a friend!

In the Next Issue: 14th August 2003

Trip Idea #9 – What great trip experience do you want to share with others? Submit a great trip idea and you could win a bottle of Kiwi white delivered to you if you are the selected contributing travel writer for August. Cheers!

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