WORKgateways UK e-newsletter
Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveller
December 2009, Volume 5 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.
- Bachelor's degree may soon be enough to qualify for Tier 1 visa
- New UK shortage occupation list confirmed
- Completing the resident labour market test for Tier 2 visa
- Your say
In every issue
So 2009 is drawing to a close, and what a year it has been! The UK job market has endured some interesting times, but still offers many opportunities for many working travellers still making the trip to Blighty. Check out all important UK recruitment update in this newsletter - our last for 2009! This month we also have all the important visa news you need to know and what's been happening on our Facebook, Twitter and forum pages. While times may have changed somewhat this year, we're ecstatic that, at the end of '09, the UK remains a dynamic destination that offers lots of action, adventure and opportunity to the working travellers that darken its doorstep. Are you ready to make the leap in 2010?
Bachelor's degree may be enough to qualify for Tier 1 visa again
The UK Border Agency may be making changes to the requirements for Tier 1, reverting to the system that allows applications from candidates holding a Bachelor's degree.
Earlier this year, the government asked the Migration Advisory Committee to consider whether the criteria for Tier 1 should be changed in 2010/11 to reflect changing economic circumstances. The MAC's report says that Tier 1 is generally operating well, but also recommends some changes.
The committee has recommended that migrants with a bachelor's degree but no master's degree should be allowed to come to the UK under Tier 1 (General), if their previous earnings are high enough. This is returning to the rules that were in place prior to 2009, when the minimum qualification level was raised to a master's degree. They have also recommended that professional qualifications (in law and accountancy, for example) should be considered as equal to a master's degree and that the pay thresholds should be substantially increased, with no points for previous annual earnings below £24,000.
The Tier 1 visa is a very popular visa route for applicants who have already used their working holiday visa, or for those from countries who not not participate in the Youth Mobility Scheme. It is expected that the government will follow the MAC recommendations and that these new changes will come into effect early into 2010.
To find out more about Tier 1, go to our jam-packed visa pages.
New shortage occupation list confirmed
The goverment has accepted the recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) last month, and confirmed the latest version of the UK shortage occupation list.
In October, the MAC recommended a revised UK shortage occupation list that included healthcare and engineering professionals and the continued inclusion of chefs, ballet dancers, work riders, veterinary surgeons and secondary teachers in maths and science, and sheep shearers. It also recommended the addition of special needs teachers and skilled meat boners and trimmers and the removal of ship and hovercraft officers from the list.
The shortage occupation list shows occupations that are in high demand in the UK. If international workers fall within these occupations, it is easier to find UK sponsors for a working visa, as potential employers do not have to complete a resident labour market test.
Completing the resident labour market test for Tier 2 sponsored skilled visa
The length of time required for Tier 2 sponsors to advertise a job they wish to recruit an international worker for will increase from two weeks to four weeks.
From 14 December 2009, the resident labour market test for Tier 2 of the points-based system will be extended to four weeks for all jobs. This will replace the current requirement to advertise jobs for two weeks, or one week for jobs where the salary is £40,000 or more.
Our WORKgateways community gets larger everyday, with our members discussing everything from visa options to job opportunities, how to set up UK bank accounts to where to live in London via our forum, Facebook group page and Twitter. Here are some of the issues tackled this month... why not join in?
"Hi, I live in Toronto and I'm a Child and Youth Worker looking to have an opportunity to work in the UK. I was wondering if someone knows any good agencies that I can contact or email so I can get more info on how to get a work visa and work out there" Armando, posting on our Facebook group wall.
"I would like to know whether you are allowed to be self employed/freelance on a working holiday visa?" Mir, on our WORKgateways forum.
Want to get regular updates? Check out our Twitter feed.
Need a UK bank account?
With all the things you need to remember when moving to another country, you'd be forgiven for letting a few things go astray. Let us help you sort one of the most important things out - we've made opening a UK bank account as simple for you as possible...
You've probably heard it said before, and unfortunately it's true. Opening a UK bank account on your own is one of the nightmares faced by travellers arriving on London's doorstep. The good news is though is that a little planning can save you mountains of hassle. We've selected the best (and the best-value) bank account start-up packages on offer, and compiled the choices for you on our handy UK banking pages.
Choose from packages like 1st Contact, Visa First and Fastrack UK. All are excellent options run by well known UK based traveler companies with offices in both the UK and Australia. They cost between $85 and $208 in Australia or €35 for all other nationalities. None require a minimum amount for a deposit and all use major high street banks. What are you waiting for?
UK recruitment update
It's been a tumultuous year for many UK industries - not only in the UK job market but across the globe. Here is our latest job update on some of the key areas for working travellers...
Social work: The demand for qualified social workers in the UK is insatiable in both Contract (Locum) and Permanent roles. After speaking with many UK recruitment agencies over the past few weeks, we expect the opportunites will continue to grow. If you have a visa and plans to go to the UK, we highly recommend you get into touch with three agencies to maximise your opportunities. Even if you can't get a visa on your own terms, we would recommend registering with agencies as many are organising recruitment drives in countries overseas (like Australia, Canada and USA) which usually involve sponsorship.
Allied Health: Radiographers, Sonographers, OTs and Speech and Language Therapists are all in very high demand throughout the NHS (the UK National Health Service). To highlight the demand, one agency that has recently joined Workgateways even offers to help pay for visas, HPC registration and even relocation costs for radiographers and sonographers! All applied health professionals should have little trouble finding their dream jobs. Register with agencies or apply to jobs now! Don't forget to investigate your visa options.
Nursing: In the UK there has been a high demand for overseas nurses for many years. Qualified and NMC registered, RMN's, RGN's, nurse managers, and specialist nurses with a year or two of experience will find permanent positions and contract positions throughout the UK in both Private and NHS roles.
Construction and Engineering: Highways and Roads design, construction, renewal and maintenance is a particularly buoyant part of the UK economy at present. All roles, from junior engineer to construction manager are in high demand. In Building and Construction, after a challenging period, we have seen an increase in the needs for specialised roles such as Quantity Surveyors, Buyers and Project Planners.
Architecture: After a particularly challenging year, opportunities for interior designers with specific experience and landscape architects are emerging at present. It is highly advisable to register with an agency if you have plans to go to the UK.
Town planning: Throughout this year its been tougher than usual to get employment in this area without UK experience, however policy and DC roles are making a comeback. That said, it is highly advisable to get in contact with an agency if you have plans to go to the UK.
Education: With a new academic year in full swing now, Teachers heading to the UK over the coming months should be intouch with agencies for the January Term. Opportunites in Teaching for Qualified experienced Secondary teachers are particularly strong in Math and Science fields.
Need to pay bills back home while you're in the UK, or want to transfer your savings? Try out our recommended money transfer partner, Tranzfers, an official partner of Ozforex that offers cheap and easy international transfers from just £7/$15AUD with competitive exchange rates.
It can be tricky figuring out the best way to transfer your money internationally - whether you're about to arrive in the UK or are a working traveller from way back. Fortunately, we can help - read our useful guide to international transfer here and our handy Money Directory. Register with Tranzfers today, and find out how simple and easy it is.
In every issue
WIN! New Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring guide
For 20 years Lonely Planet has been the Europe expert. Whether you're soaking up history in Britain or sun in Spain, crossing the Arctic Circle or cruising the Bosphorus, this 6th edition helps you uncover the continent.
We have five copies of the BRAND NEW Lonely Planet EUROPE ON A SHOESTRING to give away, just send us an email with SHOESTRING in the subject line (and your mailing address). Entries close end of December.
Winners of last month's CENTRAL EUROPE giveaway:
Kirsty Rourke, Angie Stringer, Kelvin Wong, Grace Goh, Aline Bogossian