Why now is the best time for Aussies to head to the UK on a working holiday

25 October 2021  •  Working Abroad
Why now is the best time for Aussies to head to the UK on a working holiday

Many Australians are attracted to the idea of earning money whilst on holiday, which makes a working holiday in the UK a brilliant idea. You can offset expenses against the money you earn, gain invaluable work experience, and explore England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the rest of Europe in style. In fact, this could be the best time to track down locum jobs, or other temporary healthcare posts, and rub shoulders with the Brits! Especially as you will receive a wonderfully warm welcome there.

This article explains why now is the perfect time for Australians to come to the UK on a working holiday.

Post-pandemic travel

Of course, we need to start with the most obvious reason it's now a great time to find short term healthcare jobs that support UK holidays. It may be a long-held dream to visit the UK from Australia, or even to work there temporarily. That ‘bucket list’ ambition will have been shelved thanks to COVID-19.

Understandably, the pandemic put severe restrictions on both overseas vacations and international work placements. It’s been a long and challenging 18 months. However, fortunately, in large parts of the world, the pandemic is under better control. This certainly includes the UK, where much of life has returned to normal and all leisure, retail and sports services are back to being fully operational.

Perhaps a working holiday in the UK will give you a chance to maximise new travel and leisure freedoms and maybe even visit family in Europe at last!

Plenty of job opportunities

Another great incentive to arrange a UK working holiday now is that you could have your pick of locum placements and other healthcare vacancies.

There are several employment sectors struggling to find staff in the UK at present, thanks to COVID and Brexit. That includes many unfilled posts in the NHS, just when a backlog of ‘normal’ healthcare services has built up. There were 4,845 nursing midwifery vacancies reported by NHS Education for Scotland from June 2021, “the highest number since recording started in 2015 and up from 4,495.5 in March 2021. For this reason, many healthcare facilities, both in the private and public sector, will welcome healthcare professionals on a working holiday visa.

There’s more on the NHS backlog and the efforts to draft more medical professionals on our blog on this crucial topic.

This high UK demand for healthcare workers means you may well find that salaries for things such as locum jobs have never been more attractive too. Pay rates in the NHS recently rose by 3%, which is also good news for locums.

Working Holiday Visa

In 2021, the UK and Australian governments agreed on a new trade deal that would allow Australians to work and travel in the UK with a working holiday visa, once the borders reopen. The Visa will be available to individuals aged between 18-35 and allows Australians to work and travel in the UK for up to 2 years. To be eligible for the working holiday visa, however, you must have a minimum of £2530 ($4628) in your bank account for 30 consecutive days. This is one of the most ambitious Visa deals that the Australian government has ever approved, and is only comparable to the deal they have with New Zealand, so Australian healthcare workers should take advantage of this opportunity.

Alternative Visas to work in the UK

If you are over 35 or do not have the funds to be eligible for a working holiday Visa, other Visas are available for locum work as there are many jobs vacancies in the UK in critical sectors.

There are various visa tiers to work in the UK and many posts previously fell under a Tier 5 Temporary Visa, which the Home Office has rebranded and changed to include a new application system. However, to take up UK locum posts or similar temporary vacancies, you can also apply for a Health and Care Worker visa for jobs in the NHS or adult social care.

There are eligibility criteria for a visa to work in healthcare in the UK, of course. This includes having qualifications as a doctor or nurse, or as some other health or social care professional. Also, the vacancy you are filling on your working holiday must be with an employer approved by the Home Office (which clearly includes NHS facilities).

Once you have your locum post or another healthcare job, your employer will need to produce a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ to verify that this was a genuine work placement and provide evidence that you are being paid an appropriate salary for your level of professionalism and age.

It’s the sort of thing we can advise on, as we are a UK healthcare vacancies specialist. There is more information on the Government website too.

UK travel entry requirements

Though pandemic travel restrictions are easing, there are still things you need to keep in mind. Clearly, it is vital to check the latest information on whether you’re allowed to leave Australia, using the Department of Home Affairs website. This also includes insights on whether healthcare jobs in the UK provide you with an exemption to current rules and regulations that may impact your return home.

Then, there are still steps you need to take to come to the UK from Australia for healthcare jobs (it’s a process we can help with).

The good news is that for the first time in a while, the UK is open to Australian visitors, and has eased off its previous complex travel rules. The UK COVID-19 traffic light system has been stopped, in favour of a simpler set of entry requirements for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, so there is now no green travel list, just red countries to avoid.

These are based on vaccination and testing criteria, and it's important to get the latest information from the British Government before your flight to the UK.

Adventures awaiting Aussies

If you’re ready to grab this opportunity with both hands and arrange a working holiday in the UK using your qualifications as a healthcare professional as a gateway to adventure, simply register on our website.

If you’re already registered, why not refer a friend so you have company as you make the most of the great reasons to work and play in the UK?

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