WORKgateways UK e-newsletter
Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveler
December 2006, Volume 3 Issue 16
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.
- New criteria announced for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
- Calling all town planners - the UK needs you
- Shape up for the ski season
- A place for New Zealanders in London
- Arriving in the UK soon? Apply directly to jobs
- Better banking - get organised
- Get your free Destination UK e-book!
- Financial updates from Tranzfers
In every issue
It's Christmas! While you're worrying about what to buy your dad, embarassing relatives and indulging in too much Chrissie bubbly, let us take some of the hassle out of organising and perfecting your UK working holiday!
This month we tell you how you can get your hands on the new Destination UK e-book, great ski destinations for this winter and some news for town planners and how they can land the perfect job.
And don't forget to enter this month's competition to land yourself an early Christmas present - this month a city guide to Amsterdam is up for grabs.
The changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme announced by the Home Office in November have come into effect this week as of 5 December, 2006. Although the changes will not affect applications received by the Home Office before 8 November, all other applications will be assessed under the new criteria.
There are changes to the attributes for which points are currently awarded. Points will no longer be awarded for work experience, significant achievements, skilled partner or GP Priority Provision categories. The new attributes will be academic qualifications, previous earnings, age and bonus points for previous work/study in the UK. The provision which allows holders of MBA degrees from designated institutions will continue. In addition, there will be a new mandatory English language requirement (IELTS level 6 or equivalent) for all applicants.
These changes will inform the decisions the UK Government will take towards establishing the new five-tiered Points Based System for all migration routes to the UK to work or study by April 2009.
To make your comment about the new changes, or ask our HSMP experts a question, visit the WORKgateways forum.
For more information and updates, visit the Working in the UK website
This month, Quinn from WORKgateways tells town planners how they can land a great job in the UK.
What is the current job market for town planners like?
Quinn: An interesting shift has occurred and still seems to be occurring in the Town Planning market in the UK. Over the past few weeks I have spoken to many of the best recruitment consultants on the front line who are responsible for getting jobs for WORKgateways town planners and they all seem to say one thing. The jobs in London still exist but it is becoming a bit harder to get instantly employed if you do not have UK experience. Many planners who have just arrived in the UK are finding work quickly outside of London. If you have UK experience however there are still massive opportunities in London.
Are there any particular areas outside of London where it's easier to find work in town planning?
Quinn:Pretty much anywhere outside of the M25 (the ring road that surrounds London) the opportunities are still excellent for planners with two years experience, with or without UK experience. The bonus is, that it is actually common to get a similar or better hourly rate outside of London with a lower cost of living. Some locations are an easy commute into London as well.
Which candidates are in the most demand?
Quinn: Development Control experience has and always will be experience that can be used in any Planning market but all areas of Planning will continue to remain strong.
How can I get a town planning job in the UK?
Quinn: Getting in touch with agencies before you arrive is truer now then ever. Once you have registered with Agencies or applied to jobs, start finding out exactly which boroughs and consultancies will find your experience most suitable. It is also important to start developing a relationship with your recruitment consultants as they can make a huge difference to your success.
Read about town planning jobs in the UK and register with agencies here
It's not all about work! Our insider's guide to the best ski destinations this winter - all a small step away from the UK.
The WORKgateways team like to mix work with pleasure so this month we have put together a quick guide to some of the best ski destinations in Europe (all of which we have personally visited!). Many antipodeans and travellers head away from London to the slopes this time of year to enjoy a white Christmas - so why not grab an eggnog or schnapps and join them? (or at least start planning for next year!)
Set deep within the French Alps, this relatively unknown resort manages to combine modern skiing facilities with the warmth of the historic village that it is built around. There is excellent skiing available for all skill levels, but beginners will be particularly impressed with the number of green and blue runs. For those in search of something a bit more challenging, the nearby resort of Avoriaz is littered with runs that will keep even the most seasoned skiers on their toes. Back in Morzine the entertainment goes on late into the night with an excellent selection of bars and restaurants. Find out more here.
St Anton, Austria
Situated in the Austrian province of Tirlol, alongside the smaller resorts of Stuben and St. Christoph, St Anton is the place to go if you love to ski but love what comes after skiing even more... apres! St Anton is renowned for non-stop action both on and off the slopes with the partying starting sometime around lunch and continuing well into the early hours of the next day. The best and most lively bars - including the infamous Mooserwirt and Krazy Kangaroo - are located on the slopes and you'll have to tackle a moderate blue run or two to get to them... and then make your way back down the mountain! Definitely not one of the cheapest resorts but has a great range of blue, red and black runs. For beginners or those who want a little more space on the slopes the resorts of Lech and Zurs with their wide and sprawling uns, are only a short bus ride away. Find out more here.
Best value in Bulgaria
Not the first place that springs to mind when considering ski resorts, Bulgaria is fast becoming a hot ski destination for bargain hunters. Recent investments have seen a stark improvement in resorts that offer some of the cheapest skiing in Europe, and cheap entertainment off the slopes in the style of friendly restaurants and taverns (where beer sells for around 50p a pop). Some of the best ski resorts are Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo. Find out more here.
A special Antipodean event took place in London this past Rememberance Day on 11 November. The Queen, Prince William and NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark attended the dedication of an official memorial celebrating the long-standing bonds between Britain and New Zealand.
More than 2,000 people attended the ceremony at Hyde Park Corner in London which unveiled the memorial to fallen New Zealand. The tribute, said to be worth ?1 million, is known as Southern Stand and aims to celebrate the social, cultural and economic ties.
To read more about the memorial and find out what it looks like here.
Leaving your home soon, or already in the UK? There's currently around 9,000 UK jobs listed on our site waiting for the right candidate to apply. Could it be you? Industries currently needing great candidates are Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Teaching, Medical, Accounting/Finance, Town Planning and more. Apply now and give your working holiday a kickstart.
It is notoriously difficult for working travellers to open bank accounts once they get to the UK - you need to have a job and a lease, it will take a long time, and in some cases, leaves you with a bank card you can't use anywhere but in the UK (so forget withdrawing emergency cash while holidaying in the rest of Europe!)
Organising a bank account before you get to the UK is cheap and easy, and WORKgateways can help you pick the right package for you.E-mail WORKgateways to find out about the Bank Account Kickstart Package
Register with WORKgateways today to get your free copy of our new Destination UK e-book, a valuable resource written especially for working travellers in the UK. It has all the information you need to know while planning your working holiday, plus handy tips for when you land at Heathrow. Don't miss out on the hot tips, insider knowledge and must-do checklists!
Registering with WORKgateways is completely free, and once registered you can download Destination UK for free (you will see a PDF icon). Find out how to get Destination UK here.
Financial update from Tranzfers - our money transfer partner
Tranzfers is WORKgateways' recommended money transfer partner and here they give you the latest financial update. The big news is that the GBP is even stronger this week so read this if you are planning on converting any cash!
The Canadian Dollar has just started clawing back some of its losses sustained over the last week, and is presently trading at 1.1414 against the USD and 0.4430 against a strong pound. Further losses for the CAD are possible should oil prices continue to steady.
With the Great Britain Pound Sterling continuing to make leaps and bounds against the US dollar (presently trading at 1.9763), cross rates remain strong with one pound presently buying 2.5088 Australian Dollars and 2.8692 New Zealand Dollars. Both exchange rates are destined for change next week with interest rate announcements due from the RBA, RBNZ and the BoE.
Read here about transferring your money internationally.
In every issue
Marvel at the Dutch Masters and take a step back in time in an elegant merchant's house. Join the late-night revellers in the Red Light District or cosy-up canalside in a 'brown caf?'. Get the low-down on Queen's Day and see the Royal Orchestra at the Concertgebouw. Elegant, history-steeped port; liberal, laid-back party town. Connect with your Amsterdam using this stylish and streetwise guide.
To win a copy, e-mail your name and address to WORKgateways (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 'Amsterdam' in the subject line before 31 December.
Do you have questions, comments; is there anything you'd like to see addressed in WORKgateways e-newsletter? Please email your say to WORKgateways.