Working in the United Kingdom


Jobs in the United Kingdom – ExpatFinder Articles 


The UK sits in one of the top five economies in the world, as it continues to reign as a world leader in finance and has a lead role in Europe. As the world is gradually recovering from the recession in 2008, the UK job market has shown exemplary signs of growth. 

UK or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island is one of the major role players in the Western Hemisphere. Though many can say that UK is far from its unparalleled global power during the peak of the British Empire, it still remained a successful country that possesses one of the ten largest economies in the world. This nation also benefits from being the ‘America’s doorway to Europe’ whereas the special relationship between these two powerhouse countries attract multinational companies from all over the globe. 

With United Kingdom’s location at the north-western extremity of Europe, its no wonder why it has always been a destination of thousands of migrants which means that expats that will seek employment in this country can ensure that they are about to participate in a highly diverse labour force. 

"Everything can be done online over here, there is no need to queue, which is great. That said, I sometimes worry that important documents might get lost in the post."- Muriel Demarcus, Expat in London, England

Major Industries 

Over the past century, the UK has shifted gears from a predominantly manufacturing driven economy producing mainly textiles and consumer goods into a leading service economy in such industries as legal, financial services, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The UK has also maintained its edge on technological innovation, with strong support from the government. 

"Fortunately, I had the support of my employer to sort out visa and relocation logistics, but I’ve heard from other American expats here that it’s difficult to move to the UK without a work or student visa."- Jen B., Expat in London, The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom boasts a massive education sector that ranges from primary education up until the university level. Expats that have a job background in Teaching English as Foreign Language or TESL have high employment opportunities in this country. Work in the high-tech industries and financial sector is abundant particularly in the cities of London and Manchester. There are also numerous job vacancies in the heavy industry which include the car manufacturing business. 

"The visa process was a long, tedious and at times stressful one but worth it in the end. There was a lot of paperwork that needed to be collected so keep all your bank statements, keep track of holiday dates, etc."- Natalie, Expat in England, United Kingdom

Average Salary 

As of 2015, the average median salary in the United Kingdom is £27,600. As with most countries, the pay scale here also varies depending on one’s work location whereas London is the highest earning region, boasting an average median wage of £ 48,023. The profession of an expat also has a significant impact on his salary package. Though the starting salary in the UK is around £ 19,000 for (entry level), those who in senior jobs earn around £40,000 per month. 

Work Schedule 

The average work week for most workers in the UK ranges from 37.5 to 48 hours. Those employed in the financial sector have shorter schedules while employees in the construction and other forms manual jobs have longer work weeks. It is mandatory in the UK for an employee to receive a rest period or break after four hours of continuous work and at least one day’s rest on a five-day work week. Employers in this country also have the right to put an employee on a ‘trial period’ between 30 and 90 days. After the said duration of training, the company must either provide a full-time contract or a formal notice of termination. 

"I'm currently on a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, and it was straightforward to apply for. The visa is aimed at 18-30-year-old wanting to work within two years in the UK, so there isn't as much paperwork behind it versus a long-term work visa."- Alanna, Expat in England

The British Labour Law strictly states that all employees should be entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per calendar year. Flexible work schedules are becoming popular in the UK nowadays. More companies also allow ‘telecommute’ whereas employees use a computer to work from home. 

Business Culture 

Though it is not a mandatory qualification for foreign nationals to be fluent in English, most companies in the UK still require employees or applicants to have at least an average skill in using the universal language. Expats coming from countries where English is not the mother tongue or second language should not let their hopes down since their local counterparts are known for being patient and helpful. 

Workers in the United Kingdom are often asked to multi-task and to have the efficiency as well as the confidence to step outside their usual role whenever a need arises. Diplomacy and teamwork play a significant role in the British work culture. Given this country’s incredibly diverse workforce, the United Kingdom has set out laws that protect employees from many types of discrimination. No company can terminate a contract or treat a worker differently based on his gender, nationality, race, religion, disability and sexual orientation. 

Finding a Job 

A recruitment agency can arrange jobs even before you move to the UK, but most recruiters prefer to make arrangements once you’ve set foot in the UK. Once you have found an agency and landed in the UK, go to the nearest branch, register and submit your CV. It’s worth signing up to several agencies to widen your chances of finding work right away. 

"Luckily in the UK, there is no need for health insurance as the NHS provides healthcare."- Sara Frost, Expat in London, UK

Ultimately, your best bet is to go online: job sites, recruitment and newspapers sites are loaded with job listings. Applying for jobs via the internet is a popular way to find work, especially among younger people and graduates. Online recruitment portals allow you to search according to your criteria. 

"Applying for visas/work permit is a long process, but it’s unavoidable."- Clarissa, Expat in England

Other ways to find employment include newspapers and magazines such as The Times, Financial Times as well as The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent, all of which have job offers, mainly for executives and professionals. In London, get a copy of the Evening Standard (primarily for business and secretarial positions), Metro and Loot for lower level jobs. Lastly, utilise networking. Sometimes it’s all about good timing. Join expats club or attend social gatherings where you think you could meet people who are well connected.


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