Working in the UK
February 20, 2007 10:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for resources, online or otherwise, for Australians moving to the UK.

I'm considering spending a year or two in the UK under the working visa program. I'm after information about finding work, accommodation and so forth, particularly about the job markets in TV/radio production in London and Edinburgh.

Info about arranging finances between Australia and the UK would be most welcome too.
posted by the duck by the oboe to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: working visa program

Working holiday visa program, that is.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 12:04 AM on February 21, 2007

You could try The gum tree which is a classifieds site that caters to Australians in the UK.

Also try the Thorn Tree for info about these types of things.
posted by sien at 1:12 AM on February 21, 2007

Best answer: Gumtree is apparently good for jobs and work. [on preview, sien beat me to it]

There are a range of Australian (and Kiwi and S African) newspapers/magazines in London, all available for free from most tube stations, etc. You could easily find accommodation through their classified ads - but, of course, you'd be living with other travelers. Depending on your perspective, this may or may not be a good thing. They also carry many pages of job vacancies, mainly placed by recruitment companies.

Loot used to carry a lot of accommodation ads - it had the advantage of being generic, not limited to Aussie/Kiwi/SA. OTOH, it was the source of several of the weirdest potential flatmates I ever met. (I used the print edition, back in 1998-2001, so it may well have changed now it's online).

UK landlords are a lot more likely to insist on written references than NZ landlords are (I'm not sure how Aust. compares, but it would be prudent to have written references).

Finance: moving from NZ to London, I found the easiest thing was to get my NZ bank to set me up a bank account with their English partner. This cost me around $50-100, I think, but it made things a lot easier. Do NOT go to the UK and try to set up a bank account there, the hassles are significant (plus no-one will give you a job without a bank a/c, or a bank a/c without a permanent address, or rent you a flat without a see the problem here).
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:22 AM on February 21, 2007

Best answer: Finance - Infinite Jest's suggestion is great - otherwise this will be your biggest hassle! (Although many recruitment agencies will help you set up a bank account)

Bring your mobile and buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card to get you started - you'll need it for setting up job interviews etc

Jobs: Especially in London, recruitment agencies are probably the best place to start - Google or check TNT Magazine's website. Plus job websites - Monster / Jobsite / Topjobs, and The Guardian newspaper job section (online), Also search for companies that you would be interested in working for and get in touch with them and find out how they recruit / which agencies they use. If you want to get cash coming in straight away, create a second CV and go to temp agencies for admin type work - that gives you the freedom to hold out for the right job. Bring written references and make sure you've got email addresses for them all (phoning is a bit tricky given the time difference).

Accommodation - Gumtree is good. Think about getting a short let to start off with, that way you can get a feel for an area, and when you start work, whether it's convenient for work. Also, use your family and friends - ask them to ask anyone they know in London / Edinburgh whether they know of anyone looking for a flatmate. Sharing can be a great way to build a social circle and get to know the city, and it's cheaper too.

RE: Edinburgh - you may find that a lot of work in your field is based in Glasgow (1 hour on the train from Edinburgh) so you may want to consider that as an option too. (Not as pretty, but it's a fantastic city to live in!)

posted by finding.perdita at 12:25 PM on February 21, 2007

I moved from Melbourne to London last year, and though I've not used them myself, a number of my expat Aussie friends have found 1st Contact incredibly useful.

Also, Gumtree has an Edinburgh section.
posted by hot soup girl at 3:02 PM on February 21, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:05 PM on February 21, 2007

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