So you've decided to spend some time working in the UK? It's a great idea for both expanding your horizons and helping your career. Whether it's nightlife, food, music, fashion or culture, the UK has it all. You will be hard pressed to find a more life enhancing experience and coupled with the fact that the UK is jammed pack full of top quality companies who can offer you an exciting environment and international exposure, you'll be going back home a very different (and certainly better qualified) person.
AA Appointments is the world's largest travel recruitment agency and our travel temporaries division is by far the largest of all our other specialist markets – but we do have temporary desks covering Finance, Property, Hotel/Hospitality, and Logistics. Through working with many of the UK's top companies, we can offer you some of the most exciting and interesting assignments around. We feel confident that we will be able to find you your ideal booking, but before we get carried away with all the wonderful things we can do for you, there are a few things that you will have to do BEFORE you even consider coming to the UK. So here are some top tips for living and working in the UK.
Show me the money!
The UK can be an expensive place (especially the larger cities like London, Manchester etc) so you will have to have worked out whether you can afford to come over. It's advisable to have the equivalent of about 2,000 UK pounds in savings for your trip. When you travel you'll need to have bank statements with you showing these savings as Passport Control may ask for proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself. Once you are here things get easier because you will be working and we try always to negotiate the best market rates for our temporary workers.
You can’t work until you are legal!
Unless you have a British or European Union passport you will need a visa to work in the UK. In February 2005 the Home Office announced changes which affects the working holidaymaker scheme so it is important that you know what this means to you. Go to www.ukvisas.gov.uk for all the information you need.
Agency Worker's Regulations - Effective 1st October 2011
As of October 1st 2011, new legislation has been introduced to protect temporary workers. The Agency Workers Regulations (or AWR) covers aspects such as equal pay and holiday entitlement. To find out more about how you may be able to benefit from this legislation please click on the following link http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/a/11-949-agency-workers-regulations-guidance for more information.
Having a National Insurance number is only necessary once you start work and can be obtained as soon as you arrive. To do this, make an appointment at your local jobcentre or DSS (Department of Social Security) office (take a look at www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk to find this). When you first get a job you will be allocated a temporary number but it is advisable to get a permanent number as soon as possible.
A roof over your head
Accommodation in the UK (especially the major cities) can be expensive so it's always a good idea to do your homework before you arrive. Take a look at the www.thegumtree.com for accommodation to share/rent. Alternatively, Loot magazine is also useful for accommodation listings. It comes out weekly and is available from most newsagents as well as online at www.loot.com.
It's good to talk..
Having a mobile phone will make it much easier for us to contact you. Things move very quickly in temporary markets, and those who we can't get hold of will unfortunately miss out. It might be better to start with a "Pay as You Go" deal rather than get tied down to an expensive contract right from the start. It might even be possible to just get a new SIM card for your current mobile but this is something that is worth checking before you get to the UK. Having a mobile phone is also handy for sorting out accommodation, personal safety and is of course absolutely essential for organising your social life!
Since the events of September 11th and the increased international concerns over terrorism, banks have tightened their compliance regulations immensely, and they want to really "know" their clients before they'll open an account for them. So it may be a lot easier for you to organise a UK bank account when you are still back home, possibly through your current banking supplier. Alternatively, we can offer you this service and many more through our preferred service provider ISS (www.issgroup.co.uk) who help you with accounting services, tax refunds, money transfers, limited company set-ups and shipping.
On the tiles..
If you are in London there are so many places to go and see. Why not log onto www.thisislondon.com or buy an A-Z - this is essential as it details every street in London and comes in very useful when you inevitably get lost! If you are based elsewhere in the UK you can also buy local street maps and guides. For sightseeing, try www.visitbritain.com or look at the adverts in the back of TNT Magazine (free every Monday, from a variety of places - travel agents, stations and newsagents) for details of good-value tours around the UK with like-minded travelers.
Better safe than sorry...
If you are living in London - or indeed anywhere in Britain - and are traveling around late at night on your own, be careful. Some parts of the UK are more dangerous than others, but it is a good idea to take precautions and be careful wherever you are. Try not to have valuables on display and avoid talking on a mobile telephone in public where possible. If you are travelling on your own, avoid the unofficial mini-cabs that offer lifts in major cities.
News from back home
There are several publications you can pick up for free which will keep you abreast of news and views from home as well as advertising jobs, accommodation, sights and tours and all sorts of things to do in the UK. These include TNT, LAM (both published on Mondays) and NZ News (published on Wednesday). These are distributed in London and other major cities, usually by tube and rail stations. News and community websites such as www.sanza.co.uk and www.thegumtree.com are both great websites for linking up with the Southern Hemisphere community in London.
OK, that's all sorted, so what's next....
Well if you have managed to sort all that out, and you've got your flights and arrival date all done, then it's time to get yourself a job BEFORE you arrive. You can send your full cv and cover letter (including your arrival date and where you will be living) direct to email@example.com or you can apply on-line by clicking the link below