Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveller
December 2008, Volume 4: Issue 12
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.
- Two-year working holiday visa here to stay
- All about UK banking, and how to WIN!
- Over 22,500 jobs on WORKgateways
In every issue
With 2008 drawing to a close, it's time to start focusing on the exciting opportunities and experiences lying ahead of you in 2009. While some UK industries may be a little quieter than normal at this time of year, the new Youth Mobility visa for Australians, Kiwis and Canadians, plus lots of opportunities across the board, means that the working traveller spirit will continue to be alive and well in the UK. Get all the latest visa news here, plus find out how to celebrate the perfect British Christmas and get your UK bank account sorted. Have a happy December and a very merry Christmas!
The confusing ‘12 month’ working rule on the working holiday visa has finally been abolished and travellers can now take advantage of the new, cheaper Youth Mobility Visa which came into effect on 27 November
The new Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa is now open to applicants from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan. As of 27 November, citizens of the qualifying countries can now apply to work for 24 months in the UK for just £99, half the cost of the previous working holiday visa.
The visa is open to applicants from the qualifying countries that are aged between 18-30. A new requirement for the visa is that you must have at least £1,600 saved in your personal bank account before you apply. The ability to work for the full time of the visa (two years) puts to rest the confusion many travellers have suffered under the confusing ‘12 month restriction’ rule. Now working holidaymakers can work for the full time of their visa, and will consequently be more attractive candidates to recruiters and potential employers.
It is expected that more countries will be added to list of eligible countries, however countries will not be added if they do not offer a reciprocal working holiday program for young British citizens.
We want to make your move to the UK as easy as possible - we know how fun it is to move to the other side of the world, but we also now how tumultuous it can be! Bank accounts are notoriously difficult for new arrivals to open in the UK, so that's why we advise travellers to set their bank account before they arrive.
You can avoid banking hassles by setting up your bank account before you leave home. Traveller packages are available through WORKgateways, which give you the opportunity to have a functioning UK bank account within days of your arrival in the UK. With WORKgateways, it's cheap and easy, and we can help you pick the right package for you - we have options from 1st Contact and Visa First. Find out more information about purchasing UK bank accounts at our UK Banking page.
Do you need a bank account set up in the UK within the next couple of months? Enter our competition and we'll pay for your account to get set up for you. Just send our newsletter editor an email with BANK ACCOUNT in the subject line, with your expected arrival date in the UK and we will get in touch.
We've got tons of jobs on WORKgateways waiting for the right candidate - is it you?
From social workers to engineers, teachers to tradesmen, and chefs to secretaries, we have over 22,500 jobs on WORKgateways looking for the right people. Why not register with UK recruitment agencies and apply to UK jobs today. Or, if you have more questions about a UK job search, check out our UK job search FAQs.
Before working in the UK, you'll obviously have to get your UK visa sorted. If you have any questions you can also visit the WORKgateways forum. Make sure you get the latest updates about the new Youth Mobility Visa and the new UK points-based visa system.
Author of new Lonely Planet guide The Big Trip - the Ultimate Guide to Gap Years and Overseas Adventures, George Dunford, gives us hints and tips, and answers questions about planning the perfect working holiday overseas...
WG: What do you think are the greatest advantages to working and living in another country?
George: Well,right now it's got to be the exchange rate. Depending on the value of your home dollar you can save up quite a nest egg while your away. Aside from the financial advantages, experience working overseas is always looked on really favourably if you come home. It says you've got an idea of how the world works and that you understand other cultures and ideas.
Getting the mix right between work and travel is really important too. If you're on a big trip, it's best to work just enough to pay for the next adventure. If you work too hard you lose sight of the fun, but if you don't work enough you'll spend your whole holiday scrimping and haggling which is no fun.
WG: The 'Travel Smarts' section of your new book looks pretty handy - what's your most recommended Travel Smart tip?
George: My favourite tip is to carry a whipout - this is some daily spending money that you can 'whip out' without letting someone see where your wallet or purse with more money is stored. If you're going out for the day, do a quick calculation of how much you'll need and keep these bills in your pocket. If you want to spend a little more then you can always dig into your bag for the credit card or wallet in private, but mostly you keep it stashed.
WG: You've obviously travelled quite a bit - what's been one of your favourite 'Big Trip' destination and why?
George: I'm a big fan of Singapore, because it's like a crash course in Asia with Malay areas, Little India, Chinatown and a whole lot of cheap hawker food. It's a great stopover because you can spend half a day there and feel like you've been in a couple of different countries just by zipping around on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transport - underground trains).
WG: Budgeting and organisation is obviously a huge issue when planning for a big overseas adventure. How far in advance do you feel people should get planning and how important do you think it is to be financially prepared when moving/travelling to another country?
George: I think you want to start thinking at least six months out and get saving. Some visas and immunisations dictate how prepared you need to be in advance, particularly with vaccinations which may require you to take a course that has to be taken over three months, for example.
Being financially prepared is important, but if you're planning every second of your holiday then you'll miss the random fun that comes up on you. Work out a rough budget in advance but make sure you add in a few splurges and times when you just want to enjoy yourself. Always allow a little more as an emergency fund and if you don't use it you can blow it at the end on shopping on the way home.
See our competition below for your chance to win a copy for George's new Lonely Planet book - The Big Trip. Want to get your UK Big Trip started? Take a look at our UK visa info or search for UK jobs now.
With Christmas parties, Christmas shopping and the festive spirit alive and well, your December in the UK is going to fly by. So make sure you enjoy your UK Christmas by getting into the spirit...
Bankside Winter Festival (from 12 December) - In celebration of the history of the Thames Bankside area and the fairs that took place on a frozen Thames hundreds of years ago, referred to as 'Frost Fairs', there will be winter markets, a lantern parade, Christmas stalls and festive food all along the river - including the essential mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
Christmas Day in the UK (25 December) - Whether it's your first Christmas away from home, your first wintry Christmas or you've celebrated loads of festivities in London, Christmas Day in the UK is best if you get into the festive spirit and don't focus on the fact that you're away from your family. If you're in London, remember there is no public transport and most restaurants and shops will be closed. So either plan to celebrate at home, close to home or book your Christmas meal ahead - there are loads of great meals at pubs and restaurants across the capital. doing it at home is just as good though - you'll never forget your first Christmas turkey!
Edinburgh's Hogmanay (29 Dec -1 January) - Starting with the iconic and amazing Torchlight Procession, Edinburgh's Hogmanay Festival is not to be missed. The festival culminates in a massive street party on the streets of this beautiful, iconic city - definitely a New Year's Eve you will never forget.
In every issue
For travel tips, ideas where to go, and info about working overseas, don't miss the newest offering from Lonely Planet: The Big Trip.
Author George Dunford tells us why more people should take the plunge and head overseas: “A big trip is a time to get a new perspective on your life and the world. It's about getting out and seeing things you've read about, experiencing what's on TV and making your own mind up. It?s about finding not just the differences, but the things that make us all the same. Whether you're volunteering in Africa or couchsurfing in Canada, your big trip will give you experiences you never would have had if you stayed home.”
If you want to to win a Lonely Planet Big Trip book, just send us an email with BIG TRIP in the subject line (and your mailing address). Entries close end of December.
Winners of last month's Bank Account giveaway: Shaan Pawley, Victoria, Australia
If you want to win a bank account start-up package, just email us with 'BANK ACCOUNT' in the subject line (and the date of your arrival in the UK). Entries close end of November.
If you want to win a Lonely Planet city guide, just email us with 'CITY GUIDE' in the subject line (and your mailing address). Entries close end of November.
Winners of last month's New York guide giveaway: Jason Dodunski, Melbourne, Australia; Tracy Houtstra, Alberta, Canada; Tessa Brunette, Fulham, UK; Hayley Vink, Victoria, London; Dan Treasure, Edinburgh, Scotland.
We want to share your UK adventures - so every month we will select a photo you have sent us of a great memory from your travels in the UK or Europe. This month, here's a pic from Elena on the London Eye. To say thanks, we'll be sending her a travel guide.
So, to get your own goodie (a travel book or flight voucher) send us a photo of you enjoying your working holiday in the UK or on holiday in Europe and we'll send you a little something to say thanks. Email our newsletter editor with your favourite snap.