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WORKgateways UK e-newsletter

Monthly e-News for the UK Working Traveller

Feburary 2012, Volume 8 Issue 1

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


It's a new year and 2012 is set to be a great one in the UK - the Olympics are just ONE of the many exciting things ahead for the working travellers who venture to London and beyond. As usual, we're here to help you sort out the best visa for you, get your UK bank account sorted and let you know everything you need to know about international money transfers. Plus, check out what Scotland has in store for you! Don't just sit there- get your UK adventure on the road!

What's New

Excitement builds for London 2012

There's less than 200 days to go until Olympic fever hits the UK capital in a big way, with the Games taking place from 27 July until 12 August

Were you in Sydney for 2000? Athens for 2004? If London's reputation as an exciting and thriving capital city is anything to go by, the 2012 Olympics are set to be something very special indeed. From Earl's Court to Hampton Court Palace and even just outside Parliament House at the Horse Guard's Parade (which will play host to beach volleyball), the city is set to be a hub of energy and drama. Make sure you don't miss out! Check out everything that is happening at the London 2012 website.

The Olympic Torch Relay
The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) recently announced details of the lighting of the Olympic Flame and its arrival into the UK on the 18 May. It will arrive into the UK at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose, near Helston in Cornwall, in the early evening of 18 May. The arrival at this venue acknowledges the vital contribution that maritime and coastal search and rescue services undertake for the island nation. The Olympic Flame will travel 8,000 miles across the UK to within 10 miles of 95% of the population. 8,000 Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame for approximately 300 metres each, passing the Olympic Flame from torch to torch until it reaches the Olympic Stadium on the eve of 27 July. Find out more about Olympic Torch relay here.

Taiwan added to the Youth Mobility Visa scheme

Taiwan has joined Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Monaco on the list of countries qualifying for the most popular UK visa for young travellers, the UK Youth Mobility Visa.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand's allocations this year will match the number of UK nationals who were issued visas on their reciprocal schemes in the previous year (Australia - 32,500 places; Canada - 5,000 places; New Zealand - 10,000 places).

The Youth Mobility Visa allows 18-30 year olds from qualifying countries to live and work in the UK for up to two years. It is the most simple and flexible visa to get, allowing you to leave and re-enter the UK as many times as you like. Find out if you qualify at the WORKgateways website.

Arriving in the UK soon? Book short-term accommodation OR book a UK hostel.

Join our Facebook fan page

Want to get the latest news on UK visas, find out about that perfect job before everyone else does or just need to know where the best place to grab a pint in southwest London is? Join our Facebook page

Become a fan and we promise to deliver lots of handy info for anyone travelling to work in London or anywhere in the UK, plus great stuff for those of you who are already settled in. Plus we might even give some cool stuff away.

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Fantastic opportunities for accountants in Scotland

This month we spoke to Gillian-May Fisher from recruitment consultancy Wilkinson & Associates. Based in Edinburgh, they are Scotland’s only specialist recruitment agency for qualified accountants. She tells us how the demand is high for accountants seeking new and exciting roles.

WG: Gillian, what kind of candidates are you looking for?

Gillian: We are looking for enthusiastic qualified accountants. We recruit roles for newly qualified accountants up to board level positions in the accountancy and change management space. At the moment the contract market in Edinburgh is extremely buoyant, especially for newly and recently qualified accountants.

WG: What opportunities can Scotland offer over somewhere like London?

Gillian: Many people coming to the UK do not appreciate how big the market is for qualified accountants in Edinburgh. We work across all sectors, however Edinburgh is dominated by a thriving financial services market. It is home to many leading blue chip companies such as RBS, Heineken, Lloyds, Standard Life, Blackrock, Cairn Energy, BSkyB, Scottish & Southern Energy, Aegon and Diageo. We have found many overseas accountants choose Edinburgh over London due to the better work-life balance it offers. For example, in Edinburgh it is not uncommon to be able to walk to work, and employers tend to stick to the 9-5 work hours much more. Edinburgh still has all of the benefits of a major European city such as trendy restaurants, bars and shops. However, it also caters for those who like a more outdoor lifestyle as you can readily get to the beach or mountains. If you want to travel around Europe, you can get flights from Edinburgh airport to most European countries. In August, Edinburgh holds a festival which is the biggest in Europe – it is not to be missed! Finally, the cost of living is significantly less that London.

WG: What advantages does your agency offer candidates?

Gillian: We pride ourselves on working in an extremely collaborative way. We understand that it is not just the job and company that is important, but that the people and culture of a business must be right too. We work with our clients to ensure that their aspirations are listened to and worked on. We then introduce them to the roles and companies that we feel best match their skills and aspirations. We also provide general career guidance, advice of salary benchmarking and in-depth interview training. In short, we are a consultancy rather than an agency.

WG: What advice would you give accountants looking to move to the UK?

Gillian: Take the time to work out which city best suits your personality and goals. I’ve lived in both London and Edinburgh and think they are both fabulous cities. However, for me, Edinburgh has more charm and better suits my work-life aspirations.

WG: And lastly, what are the top three must-do things in Edinburgh?

Gillian: 1. Celebrate New Year (or as we call it Hogmanay) in Edinburgh. We have one of the largest street parties in the world. It an experience not to be missed!
2. Spend August enjoying the Edinburgh Festival. Comedians, magicians, musicians, authors and actors from all over the globe come to perform. The City is alive and buzzing 24 hours a day.
3. Walk up Arthur’s Seat (a big hill in Holyrood Park). From there you can see the whole of the city including the famous Edinburgh Castle and look over to the sea.

To find out more about opportunities for accountants in Scotland, or about working in Scotland, visit the Wilkinson & Associates profile page on WORKgateways.

Check out your UK Visa options or apply to jobs.

Currency update from Tranzfers

We've teamed up with Tranzfers to bring you the latest financial information on how the British pound and your currency are holding up in the current markets

Australian Dollar: The Australian Dollar trailed lower yesterday as the re-affirmation of Julia Gillard as Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party was overshadowed by renewed concerns for the outlook of Greek debt. The domestic leadership ballot, which Gillard won without question, barely created a ripple in the markets and the Aussie traded down to 1.0650 by European hours. German parliament approved the second bailout package for Greece overnight which gave the Aussie some support at lows however a sharp rally in US equities pulled our dollar higher, touching levels near 1.0780. Opening this morning at 1.0760 an absence of local data will keep in focus offshore evens and market sentiment as drivers of the Australian Dollar today. We expect a range today of 1.0680–1.0800.

New Zealand Dollar: A change in the balance of New Zealand’s imports and exports was reported yesterday, as the country’s trade balance slipped into deficit. January saw NZ$199m of imports above and beyond the value of exports; down from a revised NZ$306m surplus of exports in December. The local unit subsequently slipped throughout the day to levels below 0.8330, however improved risk sentiment and a rally in US equities boosted the Kiwi back to previous levels and higher. Touching highs above 84 cents against the Greenback it trades here this morning as markets await the next move in risk sentiment. The Aussie cross rate has seen little movement and opens this morning 10 points the Aussie’s favour at 1.2805 (0.7809). We expect a range today of 0.8320–0.8430.

Great British Pound: Cable has traded under pressure on Monday, after attempting levels near 1.5900 very early on in the Asian session. Sell orders combined with the continuing weakening effects of the country’s quantitative easing program dampened momentum for the British Pound against the Greenback. Trading at 1.5860 for most of the European session, positive US housing data further depressed the Pound and despite a rally in riskier assets, Cable remained under pressure finishing up at 1.5820. It is here we open this morning and the aforementioned rally in risk leaves Sterling lower too against the Aussie (1.4700) and the Kiwi (1.8830). We expect a range today of 1.4640–1.4800.

For more information on the markets or making your earnings go as far as possible when sending money overseas, feel free to register to chat with a Tranzfers dealer at Tranzfers.

As a member of WORKgateways you can now get your first transfer completely fee free!! Check out our info on international money transfers.

UK bank accounts - get yours sorted

Want one less thing to worry about when you arrive in the UK? Check out our options for traveller package to get your UK bank account sorted out. So easy!

You may have heard that it's not as easy as one might think to open a bank account in the UK. That is true; opening an account in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is easier however a few tips will help you and reduce hassles. If you think of the bank as doing you a favour by allowing you to keep your money with them, you will be a step ahead in understanding the system, and less bewildered after your UK bank encounters.

Read more about UK bank accounts here.

Check out your UK Visa options or apply to jobs.

In every issue

WIN! A free UK bank account!!

Travelling to the UK soon and need to set up a UK bank account? Email our newsletter editor with the answer to the following question, and you will be in with a chance to win a bank account start-package, including lots of useful extras.

Which iconic British singer and Camden resident recently lost her life in tragic circumstances?

A. Amy Winehouse
B. Courtney Love
C. Janis Joplin

To enter, just send us an email with BANK ACCOUNT in the subject line and we'll get in touch if you win. Entries close end of August.

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