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UK Working Holiday

[ 4 ] December 14, 2009 |

With favourable exchange rates and the availability of budget flights, a UK Working Holiday is a great way to earn money and explore Europe.

London is a particularly popular destination for working holiday makers with a huge range of jobs particularly in hospitality and an efficient public transport system that makes travelling to all corners of the city only a bus or tube ride away.  The thing to consider when deciding whether or not to work in the UK is cost of living with prices in the UK fairly high and wages relatively low compared to places like Australia and New Zealand.



Working Holiday Maker Visa

The UK currently has a 2 year working holiday visa available to commonwealth citizens between the ages of 18-31.  The scheme has recently been changed to allow you to work for the entire 24 months of the visa compared to the previous 12 month restriction.  Below is an excerpt from the UK Border Agency website.

You can apply if you:

  • are a citizen of a country taking part in the scheme or a British overseas citizen, British overseas  territories citizen or a British national (overseas);
  • are 18 years old or over when your visa lets you come to the United Kingdom (becomes valid) and under  31 years old when you apply;
  • have £1,600 in available maintenance (funds) when you apply .

Finding a Job

There are lots of UK job search sites that have thousands of job listings throughout the UK, a search in google will bring up a myriad of options.  If you know what region you want to work, find out what the local newspaper is and look up the job section and classifieds on their website.

There are lots of companies and travel agents that have kick start packages with guaranteed job placements before you leave home, UK bank account setup, pre arranged accommodation, assistance obtaining a visa, insurance and ongoing support once in the country.  These packages are fantastic as they take the stress out of finding a job, they do however charge a start up fee.    1st Contact and BritBound have a fantastic package to help kick-start your new life in the UK.

Working in Hospitality



Pub jobs are particularly popular in London as they are easy to come by, flexible, with often no experience required and frequently have  accommodation and some meals included.  Good news if you’re an Aussie or Kiwi, UK pub employers love to hire you because of you easygoing attitude and downright hilarious accent.  If the live in English Pub experience sound like the job for you check out the London Pub Company and UK Live in Jobs.


Student Placements Australia has a fantastic program for people seeking to work in hotels around the UK.  As part of the program you will receive a weeks training at the prestigious European Hotel Academy in Germany, visa assistance and a pre-arranged job within a hotel in the areas of either reception, housekeeping, bar or restaurant.

Work with Children

PGL Activity Centres is the UK’s top provider of school trips, adventure courses, summer camps and more.  They have a range of gap year, seasonal, live-in and part time work across a range of areas including activity instructing & education, catering, housekeeping and more.


More Info…

  • Download your free London Guide form 1st Contact.
  • TNT Magazine is a free expat publication that can be found all around the UK, their website has job and accommodation listings, travel information, tips on moving to London and everything you want to know about London entertainment.
  • Restless World has an abundance of information on visa’s, starting a bank account, payroll and tax services and lots of other great info about working in the UK.
  • Moving to London is a really fantastic resource for those thinking of making the move, it has great information on Where to live in London, Working and more.
  • London Hostels offers long term affordable accommodation options in hostels all around London.
  • A great read is ‘Guide to Living & Working in the UK and Ireland’ by Andrea Woodman.  This book has great tips and information from an expat who took the plunge, moved to the UK and never left.

Does working a UK Working Holiday seem like a good idea to you?  It sure does to me!

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Category: Work & Travel

About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

Comments (4)

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  1. Great stuff Sasha I have been looking for some information on finding work in the UK. There is that many sites out there you never know which ones are going to help you the most.

  2. Sasha says:

    Glad you found it useful!!! Basically a compilation of nearly three years of research, talking to companies and talking to ppl who’ve done it all before. I’m still yet to do my UK Working Holiday!!! Maybe in 2011!!! You may also find the ‘Finding Work Abroad’ post useful there’s even more links that have UK job stuff!!! Can’t wait to hear about how your working holiday goes, should be a great experience!!! :)

  3. Rebecca

    This is a really informative post. also has some great long-term affordable accommodation options, including hostels, studios etc.

  4. [...] Road located in Notting Hill west London, UK (made famous by the 1999 film) is a great spot to spend a few hours.  This nearly 1km long road [...]

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