Working on a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

We moved to the UK on a 2 year Youth Mobility Scheme visa which allows us to live and work in the UK, while we travel around Europe. There are some restrictions to what work we have. We aren't allowed to work as a professional sportsperson, doctor or dentist but we can own a business as long as our equipment isn't worth over £5000. We decided that moving to the United Kingdom was worth it, even if we had to put our sports careers on hold. ;)

At first we were uncertain about how easy it would be for us to find work. We wondered what sort of jobs we would be able to find considering that we're not permanent residents, all our prior experience is in Canada, our references are in Canada as well, we planned on taking a lot of holidays, our education and credentials are different than in the UK and there is a bit of a language/terminology/accent barrier between us and Brits as well.

Lucky for us we have had no major problems finding work and a lot of our fears were pretty unfounded. It did take about a month to get our National Insurance Numbers sorted, and to find work. If you're thinking of moving abroad and concerned about being able to find work, don't be.


TEMP WORK IS A GOOD WAY TO GO.

Temp agencies have helped us out a lot. In Canada we've never used a temp agency. They definitely aren't used as much in Canada. We found that we find jobs online that are posted by temp agencies. Often the agency will contact you to get you to sign up with them. We've had a lot of luck with temp agencies finding work for us that fits our skills and requirements.

We wanted to make sure that we worked 9 to 5 Monday to Friday to be able to make the most of our weekends since most big events are geared towards the office hours crowd.Call centre and admin jobs seem to be very easy to get. It is likely that the jobs have a high turn over and that it why their is no shortage of these types of jobs available.

BIG CITIES HAVE LOTS OF WORK.

One advantage of where we moved is the size of the city. Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK so there are a lot of jobs there as there are many businesses with locations there. There is also more competition for jobs but for the jobs that we've been looking for, entry level office jobs, there has been a lot to choose from. Depending on where you move in the UK there might not be as many jobs for Youth Mobility Visa holders to find.

MINIMUM WAGE IS MORE

Another unexpected bonus is that the minimum wage in the UK is better than back in BC when you do the exchange rate. Also most of the time we've been getting paid more than the minimum so it is even better. We don't spend our money on much beside travel so both of us working full time has supported our travel habit just fine. We've been doing better than expected as we never thought we'd move to another country to get temp jobs and end up making more than working at our permanent full time jobs back in Canada.

MORE HOLIDAYS THAN CANADA

One of the main reasons to come to the UK was that we wanted to travel and living in BC we were pretty isolated from a lot of the big destinations so it was expensive to travel to any big cities or other countries.  In the UK we are able to get pretty cheap flights to Europe or get a train to London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc for the weekend. In Canada you typically get 10 days holiday after your first year at a job. In in UK full time workers get 28 days a year. We were pleasantly surprised since we want to do a lot of travelling while we are here. We have enough that we go on a trip almost every month.

The employer don't seem to look into our visa stipulations close enough or they just don't have a problem with employing us even though we have an end date to our time here. We've gotten temp jobs so they just need the job filled for a certain time in most cases. It has not been a major issue for us but there have been some job interviews we've had where you could tell they weren't interested anymore because we weren't their best option for a long term employee.

In the UK there is something called a zero hours contract which is not very popular with locals here that are looking for permanent work but has probably helped us get jobs since employers are more willing to hire us on a zero hours contract temporarily where they do not owe us the same things that permanent employees are entitled to. This temporary/trial period work has helped us in being flexible around our trips we've been going on. On a zero hours contract the employer does not have to guarantee work but the employee doesn't have to do any work either. You can basically get let go from these jobs at any time but you can also quit the jobs at any time as well which works well for our situation.

Our education/credentials haven't been a problem since our jobs aren't ones that require a lot of education and our high school and university is seen as roughly equivalent for the sorts of jobs that we are finding. Maybe if our qualifications were more specialised then we would be running into problems but for our purposes we haven't been restricted. I don't think any of our employers contacted any of our references. We provided references with phone numbers and emails but they must not have bothered since they were Canadian phone numbers. Maybe they assumed that we must have our lives somewhat together if we we're able to move to another country.

GOT USE TO BEING A FISH OUT OF WATER

We've been getting used to the terminology and the geography of the UK so it hasn't been that much of an issue. Our main concern was doing customer service jobs working with the public and not being able to understand what people are saying. Or needing to have a knowledge of geography in the UK if say a customer is asking a question relating to some other location of the business you work for. Is there a branch is Leicester? Or they ask where the nearest branch is, you see it is in Leicester but then how do you pronounce Leicester. Lie-cest-er? No, it's Lester. What would happen if you don't know where the place is or how to pronounce the place. Turns out this doesn't matter. You pick up the place names, you learn the different terminology. We are still learning new stuff all the time.

Maybe we've been lucky but all of our anxiety about finding a job on our working holiday visa was unfounded. We probably had more trouble finding a job back at home in BC than in the UK.

WORK, SAVE, TRAVEL, REPEAT

Living in the UK has it's advantages for us: higher wages, temporary work, more holidays and convenient location. We have been able to travel around Europe without breaking the bank.

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Comments

  1. I never thought of looking for temp work when moving to a new country but will definitely consider it next time. I'm leaving South Korea soon and will be traveling for a while before finding myself in a new city (and it'll definitely be a city based on your recommendation!)

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  2. Glad to hear everything is working out for you in the UK and I must say, I had no idea it would be been such (relatively) smooth sailing for temporary residents to find work. Certainly, for many people, traveling in Europe can be a drain on the bank account and it's always a relief to find somewhere to replenish the funds. Hope you get to explore lots of the UK during your time there

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    1. Thanks. It worked out pretty well for us and it helped that we had friends we could stay with and housemates.

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  3. great informative post! Happy to read things worked out well for you two in the UK.
    I have to admit that having 25 days of holidays in my countries (Czech Republic and Slovakia) is a privilege, yet all of us living in these places got used on it very quickly. It is always nice to remind myself that this is not a standard everywhere.
    I wish you a lot of nice memories from Europe!

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    1. Thanks. I think North America is know for the tiny holiday are.

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  4. As they say, love will find a way. Your love for travel will open up new doors and opportunities for you, small in the beginning and bigger in the near future. All the best!

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    1. Thanks. Travel has changed us for the better.

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  5. Well done, usually you can get new opportunities when starting a job in a new country (Like I did few years ago in Australia); Maybe tiring and stressful when you start but it could be nice and grateful in the future!! Enjoy
    wwww.utravelshare.com

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    1. We've felt there was a lot of job opportunities in the UK for both of us.

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  6. I love the UK, originally from there it's great going back home! And glad to hear you're having a great time there! Europe is amazing, and so many beautiful sites to see too!

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    1. We love the UK for many reasons and exploring Europe ad well.

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  7. Staying and working in the UK has definitely worked to your advantage. It provides a great base to travel around Europe. Also as you mention if the pay is more and you get more holidays, it is all the more great.

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    1. Yeah it worked out better than we imagined.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing moving and working in the UK. It sounds like the process has been fairly easy, and who doesn't love 28 days of vacation?. As a US resident, I agree that it is a real bonus to be so close to the European continent, makes traveling more often easier.

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    1. Yeah you get it. Sometimes Brits don't realise how good they've got it for holiday days and cheap flights.

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  9. Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea the UK offered this sort of visa. I know so many people who want to travel Europe and don't know how to do it, and this is the article I'll be sharing with them!

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    1. Thanks. Many countries offer 1 or 2 year working visas for people under 30 or in some cases 35. It all depends on what reciprocal arrangements your home country has with other countries.

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  10. Thanks for sharing! With an Indian passport, life is eitherways difficult. Everywhere we have to budget some extra time for visas :-(

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  11. Staying and working in UK sounds awesome. But has it changed any ways since the Brexit? I totally second you on the language problem.

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    1. It didn't affect our time here in the UK but we're just temporary residents.

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  12. Isn't living overseas the best thing for the soul! My husband and I are from NZ but living in Abu Dhabi and what you said about being the 'fish out of water' is spot on but in the very best of ways. Where are you off to next?

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    1. Yeah it's kinda fun being a fish out of water and adapting. We're not sure what are plans are yet. We're just having fun.

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  13. That's a great way to travel around the Europe! I have always wondered how to do it without going bankrupt! This seems to be the answer although not sure if it s applcable for every country.

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    1. Yeah different countries have these sorts of working tourist visas so its worth looking into.

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  14. I sorta wish the USA had never left the Commonwealth so we could get these sorts of visas too, hahahaha. Regardless, it looks like such a great opportunity and you've seem to have done well for yourself! I'm definitely jealous. Such a great way to travel as well.

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    1. Yeah it is kind of a shame that US citizens can't take advantage of this visa. I'm sure you have options of a visa in another country though?

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