The UK is the land of Manchester United, the Beatles, making awkward eye contact with strangers on the tube and eating roast dinners in the pub with someone’s drunken aunt. Admittedly, British summers can be a bit disappointing weather-wise, but if you’re looking for something to do this summer, spending a month or two in Britain can really help you boost your English language skills, and teach you a lot about yourself and the country.
If you’re an anglophile and willing to leave your friends and family behind for a summer in pint heaven, read the following tips from Earth Uncovered on how to easily find a seasonal job in the UK and what you need to consider before moving.
What paperwork do I need to have in place?
Firstly, you’ll need to apply for a work visa if you want to start working in the UK and you’re from outside the EEA or Switzerland. You can apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa if you’re not intending to stay in the UK for more than 12 months (or 24 if you’ve applied for the Youth Mobility Scheme). This might be a viable option for charity workers, volunteers or people who work in sports or the arts. It’s also possible to enter the country using a visitor visa, with which you are permitted to stay for 6 months. However, it doesn’t officially allow you to work. If you’re not sure what kind of visa to apply for or you’re facing problems obtaining one, don’t shy away from contacting a immigration advice service who can help you out with your application.
Keep in mind that you will also need to apply for a National Insurance Number (NINO) at the job centre once you’ve arrived. Your NINO is a personal identification number that is used by the government and the tax office to record your tax contributions. Both EU and non-EU citizens will need to apply for a NINO.
Where to look for seasonal jobs in the UK
A lot of employers need extra staff in the summer months. If you enjoy working with children, consider becoming an au pair or helping out at summer camps. The British summer is also famous for its many festivals and sporting events, so check out the individual websites for the races, Wimbledon or Glastonbury if you’re into music or sports. Catering and stewarding companies usually need an extra pair of hands around that time.
Here’s a list of websites that will give you a push into the right direction:
For au pairing: British Au Pair Agencies Association
If you’re working as an au pair or at a summer camp, your accommodation will usually be provided for. If not, there’s plenty of websites that can help you finding short term housing. Of course there’s Airbnb that allows you to rent someone else’s apartment, but there’s also plenty of house sharing websites you could take a look at, such as SpareRoom and RoomBuddies.
When you sign a contract for a room, landlords will often ask for a guarantor who agrees to pay your rent if you don’t pay it. A guarantor usually has to be someone from the UK, which can form a problem if you’re a foreign national. If you can’t find a UK-based guarantor, you may be asked to pay more rent in advance. Another option is to provide details of your new employer to prove you’re capable of paying your rent.
Make sure you have all of the above covered so you can start thinking about booking your flight and reading up on all the local customs. Don’t worry too much though if you haven’t sorted out your job or accommodation yet. It will come a lot easier to you once you’re already there. Just enjoy the experience and get ready to have the time of your life!
About the authour
Lisa van der Steen is a freelance writer who moved from Amsterdam to the UK in 2011. After graduating from The University of Manchester, she started to write about expat life in the UK and all things related to British culture.