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WORKgateways UK e-newsletter

Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveler

February 2007, Volume 3 Issue 18

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.


What's new


In every issue


We're kicking off our second newsletter for this year with promising news about the job market in the UK - employers in the UK are begging for decent skilled workers and there are skills shortages across many industries. We've got updates across a range of industries for you and news to help you land your UK job. They need you!

There's also important news this month for those looking to get sponsored for work permits, apply for working holiday visas or the Highly Skilled Migrant programme.

And celebrate the Valentine month by entering our competition to win the fabulous new Lonely Planet guide to France - you could be serenading your Valentine under the Eiffel Tower on a well-informed French tour before you know it!

What's new

Unemployment in the UK at an all-time low - get your latest UK recruitment news here

While other major European economies are flat, the UK economy continues to steam along with unemployment in the UK running at an incredibly low 4.5%. The key is really to make the most of your experience by getting in touch with agencies who can really help before you land at Heathrow! Register with agencies now

Remember: Letting us know your arrival dates, securing your Work Visa and uploading your CV are the keys to your success.

Technical jobs
One of the best indicators of a healthy employment market is the strong demand in professions like Architecture. The flow-on effect to Planning, Engineering and Construction will continue for many years, fuelled further by the London 2012 Olympics.

Planners: Due to changes in the supply agreements, planners will find it a lot easier to find employment outside of London. (For more information, please see the last issue of the e-newsletter)

Alert: Anyone with tunnelling experience?! – London has begun a huge project and you are needed here now!

Medical jobs
In the Medical field a huge range of opportunities exist, the likes of which we have not seen before. Sonographers, Radiographers, Audiologists, Nurses and OTs seem to be the flavour of this month but all specialists with two years or more experience in the Medical field will do well.

Legal, Accounting and Banking jobs
In Law, Accounting and Banking, people with experience in the support roles for these professions can pick and choose. Commercial Lawyers and Accountants with just a year or two top tier experience will find practically unlimited opportunities in London. The UK is also known to be an excellent remunerator for these areas with many recruiters actively advertising and recruiting in North America, New Zealand and Australia.

Secondary and Primary teachers can find work easily in Contract roles, but those seeking longer term permanent roles need to start thinking about September when the new school year starts. Now is a good time to apply to agencies. Register with agencies at least six months before you arrive so they can assist you with the various bit of documentation!

Hospitality and Office Temps
For those of you are looking to find some quick, short-term work – What are you waiting for? There has never been a better time. As always travellers are well-regarded and employment is easy to find. Start applying directly to jobs two weeks before you arrive so that you can start arranging interviews (and keep continuously applying until you are employed!)

Skills shortage in UK construction industry

A recent survey has confirmed there is a massive skills shortage in the UK construction industry.

The Chartered Institute of Building's (CIOB) annual skills shortage survey has revealed that 77% of employers who responded to the survey had problems recruiting during 2006.

The demand for skilled workers in the construction industry is set to increase this year and recruiters are struggling to find workers to fill positions. Recruitment difficulties were reported at all levels in the industry but the greatest problems were reported at both management and at craft/trade levels.

To register with Construction Recruiters in the UK, visit our Register with Agencies page.

IT salaries in the UK on the rise

The market for experienced IT professionals in the UK is booming, meaning that employers will pay top dollar for candidates with the right skills.

IT employers in the UK are struggling to find suitable workers to fill the many positions on offer. A survey by recruitment company JSA has indicated that companies using freelance IT staff may find themselves under pressure to pay more because of the huge demand for contractors.

The survey also found that the IT contractors expect their pay to rise by an average of 10 percent in 2007. Around 40 percent of those surveyed believed that the IT contractor market would grow in 2007.

The IT skills most in demand are Java J2EE, VB.Net, C#, LAMP Technologies and data-warehousing. So if you're an experienced IT professional, jump on the plane!

Updated guidance notes and FAQs for HSMP applicants

Need to know more about the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme? The guidance notes and FAQs on the Working in the UK website have been updated with further clarification of existing guidance to provide customers with help in making their HSMP application.

If you are doing your own HSMP visa application, you should consult the FAQs on the website as well as the guidance notes. The FAQs are updated with the latest information on questions being raised by applicants. They will help in completing your application form correctly and providing the required evidence.

This update of the FAQs provides further clarification on the following:

  • What is a tax return?
  • I have not got a tax return to cover the full period – what can I do? (for salaried earnings, contractors and self-employed)
  • What is an independent contractor?
  • What are overseas earnings?

For more information about the HSMP and to read the updated FAQs, visit the Working in the UK website.

Our WORKgateways HSMP experts can provide you with advice on our member forum - so why not visit and ask a question?


From working holiday visa to sponsored work permit - how it's done!

Cath is a 26-year-old project manager from Penrith, Sydney, now working in London. This year she made the transition from a working holiday visa to sponsorship from her UK employer. Read how she did it here.

WG: When did you arrive in the UK and how long have you been here? 
Cath: I arrived here on a bright sunny day back in July 2004. I've been here 2 and a half years now.

WG: What kind of work are you doing? 
Cath: My title is 'Project Manager' and I work on recruitment campaigns for our large, multi-national clients. Our current client has us recruiting 150 graduates for their 2007 intake from 45 countries around the world. It involves some marketing, some HR work, some Event Management tasks and lots of patience! 
WG: So you started out on a working holiday visa and then switched to a work permit?
Cath: Yes, I started this job on a five month contract back in February last year. My working holiday visa was due to expire in July. By March/ April time however, summer was coming on, I was having a ball in London, loving my job and just wasn't ready to go home. I approached my boss and just asked him straight out if the company would sponsor me. He didn't actually know about the Sponsorship/work permit program so I explained it to him and everything went from there.

WG: So you just came straight out and asked your boss if they would sponsor you?  
Cath: I was very lucky. My boss had called me in to his office to offer me a job in Australia. I just mentioned that it sounded great but I didn't really want to go back to Australia just yet. He wasn't aware that Sponsorship was an option so I explained it to him and a few months later had a work permit in my passport. Brilliant!

WG: How much did the work permit process cost, and who covered the costs?  
Cath: My employer paid the visa consultant fee which was approx £900 (because we went through an agency). I paid for the rest. I can't really remember exact costs but I think it was $220AUD or so for the Visa to be stamped in my passport in Canberra, £50 or so for the Work permit documents to be couriered from the Home office here in the UK to my home address in Sydney (you must be out of the country when the application is made) and then £800 (ouch!) for a last minute flight to Oz.

WG: And finally, what is your favourite thing about living in London? 
Cath: The opportunity to travel  - especially in Summer. It's awesome being in some of the world's most beautiful cities when it's sunny and warm. In Australia we tend to take our brilliant weather for granted a bit but over here they really make the most of it and the atmosphere everywhere becomes very fun and festive. Happy days!

WG: And your plans for the next year or so?
Cath: At this stage I will be staying in London. I just want to make the most of it while I can so I will stay here for as long as I'm enjoying it. I've considered going to Africa when I'm done here to work on a volunteer program but that would take quite a bit of money and if there's one thing that London is bad for - it's saving!  

To find out more about work permits and sponsorship, visit the Working in the UK website. Or visit our member forum and ask one of our experts a question.

Everyone needs a bank account!

It is notoriously difficult for working travellers to open bank accounts once they get to the UK – mainly because when you first arrive you do not have the required documentation, such as UK utility bills in your name.

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 from 1st Contact or Visa First or read about the different bank account options here

How can WORKgateways help you?

One of the main things we try to do at WORKgateways is keep as much employment industry information 'on tap' as possible. so that anyone can work out where their experience is most suitable. Just as importantly, we also provide the tools to make it happen.

On the website start here, you should start by checking out industries here
The information here is kind of generic, but for most people it is all you will need to get going!

We tend to follow industry trends through this newsletter and the best way we do that is through interviewing travellers and recruiters on the front line in the UK. Read some past interviews from newsletters here to get you inspired.

If you have a specific question the best way to get it handled quickly by people who are specialists is through our forum, Ask a question now

Educating yourself is great but there is nothing like putting your CV in front of a recruiter or employer and having a plane ticket and a work visa. We provide two main ways to doing this:

For professions you can register with the best agencies in your field before you arrive - Ideally at least a few month before you arrive, but many leave it until they get to the UK which works OK to but it is nice to have interviews arranged for your arrival! Professionals can also apply to specific jobs.

If you arriving in the UK in the next two weeks, start applying directly to jobs on our website. Do a job search now!

NEW! - Get help applying for your working holiday or Ancestry visa

Many people apply for their working holiday and ancestry visas themselves without a hitch, but some applicants choose the added security and convenience of using a visa representative to help them out with their application.

WORKgateways have teamed up with Visa First to give you the option of applying for your working holiday visa with this experienced agency. Read about how Visa First can help you with your Working Holiday Visa application.

Find out about Tranzfers - our international money transfer partner

If you plan on doing multiple international money transfers while you are in the UK, it's a good idea to set up an account with an online money transfer company such as our recommended partner, Tranzfers.

Doing international money transfers via mainstream banks can be hideously expensive and often you will have no control over the exchange rate you are getting. Especially at times like these when the Pound Sterling is very strong, it's a huge advantage to be able to have control over exactly when you want your money to be transferred.

With Tranzfers, you can deposit your money into their account and let them know exactly when you want them to transfer your cash - preferably at a time when you will get more pounds for your dollars. Their fees are really cheap too - only $15AU per transfer. Bargain!

Read here about transferring your money internationally.

In every issue

Win a Lonely Planet guide to France

Whether you dream of sipping wine in Burgundy cellars, exploring the graceful boulevards and winding backstreets of Paris or touring the lavender-scented countryside of Provence, France enchants and seduces with its array of attractions. Fall under its spell with this inspiring and informed guide.

To win a copy of the brand new Lonely Planet city guide to France,
e-mail your name and address to WORKgateways ( with 'France' in the subject line before 28 February.

Your Say - we want to hear from you!

Are you in the UK and want to feature in our newsletter? Got a hot tip for working travellers about finding a job, taking a holiday or about living in London? Or are you still at home and have found a great website? Email our newsletter editor, and if we publish your comment, we'll send you a prize!

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