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WORKgateways UK e-newsletter

Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveler

March 2007, Volume 3 Issue 19

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.

Contents

What's new

Focus

In every issue


Welcome

March has sneaked up on us already and for those planning trips to the UK this year, departure dates are looming. This month we've got some great advice for people planning their working holidays as well as some recruitment news and thousands of jobs for travellers already in the UK

There's also important news this month about making your home election vote count as a traveller in the UK. And don't forget to enter this month's competition - a handy guide from Lonely Planet bursting with ideas for how to spend your days off in the UK.


What's new

Scottish job market growing in the UK

Most working travellers venture down the well-trodden path to London. The great news is though that there are fantastic opportunities to be had in other places such as Scotland, where a new report shows that wages and salaries are on the rise.

A Labour Market report recently released from the Bank of Scotland shows that demand for staff in Scotland is firm and that wages and salaries continue to rise.

The healthy job market makes major cities in Scotland, such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, attractive destinations for working travellers. The labour market report shows that demand is strongest for permanent IT and computing staff and temporary accounts and financial workers.

Tim Crawford, Group Economist at Bank of Scotland, said: “Latest survey data show that demand for staff in Scotland remained strong at the start of 2007. Salaries rose further in January, as firms looked to attract staff in a tight labour market. Overall, the Scottish jobs market is growing at a similar rate to the UK market, while Glasgow is the best performer at a local level.”

For more information about living and working in Scotland.

Find out more about living and working outside London.

Sydney to London by bus

The news is spreading through email forwards and the occasional travel article, but if you haven’t heard about it already, find out here about the latest unique way of travelling between the UK and Australia.

Whether you’re an environmentalist or an intrepid traveller looking for adventure, travelling between London to Sydney just got a lot more exciting. A bus operator is offering a new 12-week journey from London to Sydney, with the first trip leaving in September.

The bus trip will take you through 20 countries including Austria, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Nepal and East Timor, and will set you back £3750 GBP ($AU 3995). A ship will take the bus from East Timor to Darwin, while passengers are expected to fly that leg of the trip at an additional cost.

Once in Australia, the journey takes in Adelaide and Melbourne before arriving in its final destination of Sydney.

The service was set up by traveller Mark Creasey, who says it is a more environmentally-friendly way to cross the globe.

"Folks that are signing up are not necessarily there for the destination, but for the experience and the people," he said.

For more info, check out the OzBus website.

Vote from afar - make your opinion count

With a NSW state election this month and an Australian federal election around the corner, Australians in the UK are reminded that they can still make their vote count.

Living in the UK as an Australian does not mean you have to forfeit your right to have your voice heard. The NSW state election will be held on Saturday, 24 March and NSW residents in the UK are being encouraged to head to the polls. For up-to-date news on the election and to download voting forms, visit the NSW Electoral Commission website. The Consular Office in Australia House will also be offering pre-poll and postal voting services from 14-22 March. Visit the Australian High Commission website for more information.

The next Australian federal election is expected to be held on a Saturday late this year. The Australian Labour Party is in full-swing assault mode with polls showing John Howard's popularity is waning. Visit the embassy website later this year to find out how to make your vote count.

Find out more about upcoming elections in your home country, and how you can make your vote count: Australian embassy, New Zealand embassy, South African embassy, Canadian embassy.

Are you registered with WORKgateways?

Become a registered member with WORKgateways for free, to get access to premium services to help you plan and enjoy living and working in the UK.

There will soon be some exciting new additions to the WORKgateways website which will make our website an even better resource for people planning their move, or already living and working in the UK. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, so all you have to do to gain access to these premium services (including the new Destination UK e-book!) is to register for free and start building your WORKgateways profile. Register here now and stay tuned!


Focus

Know before you go – insider advice from WORKgateways staff and members

In February our WORKgateways staff spent a lot of time speaking with WORKgateways members who are due to arrive in the UK within the next few months. Here is some of the valuable information we found out.

Deciding to make the leap and move to the UK is no easy decision. While years ago backpacked antipodeans tended to arrive blindly at Heathrow hoping for the best, it’s great to see that things have changed. Many Australians, Kiwis, Saffas and other WORKgateways members are avoiding the stress of ill-planned trips and are taking more time to do their research in advance, use the resources on offer and ensure their arrival in the UK goes smoothly. It’s not geeky, it’s just sensible!

The mantra for many seems to be: “I want to get as much stuff done before I get there as possible”. The great news is that there are a lot of resources out there to help you, including WORKgateways. Of course you need to get your visa sorted out first. Read the info on our site here and if you need help you may like to consult a visa representative or our forum. Most people know that it’s a great idea to set up a bank account before you leave you home country, as if you leave it until you get here you will find yourself waiting up to three months for a limited privilege account. We have found two of the best bank account start up packages on offer – find out about how to open a UK bank account here.

A lot of people we spoke to didn’t know anything about the National Insurance Number, which is a must for anyone who will be working in the UK (it is similar to a tax file number in Australia). It is very important to get your NI number sorted out as soon as possible before you start working in the UK, as if you do not have one you will be taxed at a higher rate. Find out more about the UK National Insurance Number.

Of course one of the main things everyone wants to know about is how to get a job in the UK. Alison, an Australian looking for UK engineering jobs, registered with recruitment agencies via WORKgateways and soon after had contact with a UK recruiter. “WORKgateways is one of the most informative sites I have found and is really easy to navigate,” she said. For candidates looking for professional roles, registering with agencies in your field via our site and applying to jobs soon before you are due to arrive, is the best way to secure employment. You should read the profiles of the recruitment agencies on our site to find the agencies best suited to your experience. For those looking for casual/temp work, you should only start applying to jobs a couple of weeks before you are due to arrive.

The golden rule of finding a UK job is to be persistent. Register with at least three UK recruitment agencies, and make sure they have your updated CV and travel details. When you register with UK agencies via WORKgateways, we send your CV to the agencies you have selected and they should get in touch if you are suitable. Sometimes candidates are missed out though, and it is important to follow up on your applications.

Paul, a construction professional from South Australia, told us: “I registered with a couple of agencies on WORKgateways back in December, even though I am not due to arrive in the UK until May this year. I hadn’t heard from any of the agencies, so I sent a polite email reminding them that I am due to arrive in May, and now they are working on finding a job for me.”

Find out more about more about using UK recruitment agencies and how WORKgateways can help.

Get help applying for your UK 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.

If you have any questions about your visa application, why not ask our visa experts on the WORKgateways forum? Our forum moderators have all lived and work in the UK and have a lot of information to share. Visit the forum now.

Apply now to thousands of jobs with WORKgateways

From temporary hospitality/events jobs to permanent engineering and construction roles, WORKgateways currently has over 10,000 vacant positions waiting for the right applicant!

Upload your current CV and apply to jobs with WORKgateways today! For professionals, apply to jobs up to two years in advance of your anticipated arrival date. For temps, apply up to two weeks before you arrive in the UK (or when you have already arrived!). If you haven't completed a profile with your details, register with WORKgateways now.

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.

Latest financial update from Tranzfers

The Australian dollar - The Aussie dollar has made a recovery following a reprieve for global stock markets. Despite a brief slump to 0.7680 in early Asia, the AUD made steady gains to the overnight high of 0.7554. The Aussie is currently valued at 0.7761. After the RBA’s announcement that they were not increasing interest rates, the GBP/AUD has eased and is now changing hands around 2.4837.

The New Zealand dollar - Despite the gains against the US dollar, sterling was also unable to keep pace with the Kiwi dollar with small losses seeing the cross open at 2.8280 (GBP/NZD). The GBP/NZD cross sits around 2.8244 at the moment.


In every issue

Seize the day - make the most with this new Lonely Planet guide

Being a working holiday maker in the UK is all about making the most of your time. Lonely Planet has released a new guide to help you make the most out of the 12 days everyone gets off every year (104 weekend days + 8 public holidays + 20 annual leave days = 132 days to be used!). It's bursting with ideas for how to maximise your time: from lunch hours to bank holidays, weekend breaks or one week off for an adventure of a lifetime. Chapters include suggestions for recharging, partying, reflecting, volunteering and also business trip add-ons among others.

To win a copy of Lonely Planet's new 132: Seize the Days,
e-mail your name and address to WORKgateways (giveaway@workgateways.com) with 'Seize the Day' in the subject line before 31 March.

Last month's winners of Lonely Planet guide to France:

Angie Strachan, Cooks Hill, NSW; Edwina Chin, Vancouver, Canada; Mark Carter, Richmond, VIC; Valerie Hayes, Thomastown, VIC; Tina Govender, Durban, South Africa.

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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