Bridge the gap with a working holiday in Australia

3 September 2009

In 2008 record numbers of school-leavers deferred their university place for 12 months, with 33,717 students preferring to take a gap year rather than hit the books.

As A Level results loom and the financial crisis continues, Tourism Australia is encouraging young Brits to bridge the gap with a Working Holiday Visa by highlighting the benefits to combine work and play.

An Australian Working Holiday Visa allows 18-30 year olds the opportunity to combine 12 months travelling in Australia with incidental work, making those holiday funds go further and giving ‘gappers’ the opportunity to live the Aussie lifestyle.

A recent study published by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) found the principal reasons for applying for the visa were travelling around Australia and living in Australia.

The most popular form of work for Working Holiday Visa Makers was farm hand work, accounting for 26% of the total jobs. 86% of these farm hand jobs were located in regional areas highlighting their appetite to travel outside of the gateway cities to experience the outback, small country towns and meet local characters.

The same survey showed the average hourly wage of British Working Holiday Makers was $19.40 (approximately £10).

On an average five day working week, this would equate to earnings of $776 (approximately £385), enough to cover accommodation and food bills for the week and leaving enough to put towards experiences such as island sailing trips; outback adventures and domestic travel.

Tourism Australia General Manager (UK and Europe), Rodney Harrex comments:
“The 12 month gap year to Australia is a popular choice for young British school-leavers because it is the chance to live abroad before knuckling down and embarking on a career or starting university.

“It provides young people with the opportunity to supplement their travels with incidental work, meaning they gain life experiences and confidence while having an amazing holiday experience.

“And if gappers fall in love with the country and want to extend their visas, they can. Provided they conduct at least three months ‘specified work’ such as fruit picking in a regional area, they can apply to have their visa extended for a second year.”

For the 12 months ending 31 May 2009, there has been a 19.5% increase in the number of first Working Holiday Visas granted to British citizens.

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