UK, UK. Not ukay ukay
After many months of looking forward to a trip to the UK, to spend Christmas and New Year there, I am now glad to be back in the Philippines – defrosting! I feel that I have to mention that that we flew on Qatar Airlines and the office and ground crew were incredibly helpful (all Filipinos), the stewardesses that looked after us were brilliant (all Filipinos), and the upgrade to Business class on the flight back to Manila was sensational, and our cabin mates were, All Filipinos!
Our trip to the UK took us to Nottingham, a large industrial city in the East Midlands, where we met up with the Filipino community living in Arnold, who are primarily working in the health care and National Health Service (NHS) environment and in the retail industry for the big supermarket chains. There is no warmer welcome than a Filipino welcome on a cold winter’s day in the UK, and I was very proud of the accomplishments of this community and the respect they command, particularly in the big hospitals.
Our next port of call was exactly the opposite of the large city of Nottingham – it was a small, but vibrant country town in Mid-Wales. Here we would say it was “out in the boonies”, but in the UK the infrastructure is such that even country towns have the same essentials as big cities – but smaller. E.g. the hospital can care for just 8 patients at any one time! Once again, there was a Filipino community, and once again, well-respected. Even in the remote parts of the UK, you can’t escape from the Philippines!
In the UK there is no such thing as an unemployed (or under-employed) Filipino. All work hard, all have at least one family to support, most have nice houses, most send money back to the Philippines, and ALL have the reputation of being diligent workers. Unemployment means being cold and hungry – therefore you would be better off in the Philippines!
So where does international education fit into this equation? A number of the people in the Filipino community entered the UK as students, and after graduating, received a post-graduate work permit. Traditionally, graduates of Bachelors degrees and even Diplomas were allowed to work while studying (20 hours per week) and then allowed to work for one year after studying, as a type of internship program. This has now changed to a points based work permit application for a two-year work permit upon graduation. Let me put it into official language:
Tier 1 Post-Study Work Same Day Application Processing – From £250 + Home Office Fee. This is a 2 year UK Leave/visa extension under which new graduates can apply. Graduates currently on the 1 year International Graduates Scheme visa can switch into the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) visa/permit to extend their UK visa by a further 12 months.
The transitional process to switch from IGS to Post-Study Work up until now has involved filing the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) application form and supporting documents to the Home Office BIA by post and took between 4 -14 weeks to process. On December 1st 2008 the UKBA began to offer a same day processing service for a limited number of Tier 1 Post-Study Work applications. We anticipate the same day service to be available for Tier 1 (G) applications in the near future. For more information on the Post Study Work Tier 1 Points Based System, link to the online fill able Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) application formclick here [ ]
Far more students come to us though for graduate studies, and they now have a real advantage in the UK. A masters degree (taught or by research) is typically a 12-month course. After taking this at a registered institution – all UK government universities are registered, but beware of inexpensive, new, private colleges, which may well not be registered – students are normally eligible under the points-based scheme for a three-year work permit. Obviously the same benefits apply to someone taking a Ph.D.
Now, its one thing to be given a work permit, but quite another to find a suitable job. Many of the British Universities have graduate job fairs where their graduates get snapped up by British companies on the look out for qualified, bright, young people. The world-wide recession, while putting a lot of people out of work, does not seem to have affected the professionally skilled end of the job market in the UK though, and the demand for highly educated, focused young people continues unabated. Overseas graduate students are a favored hunting ground. A quick glance at www.prospects.ac.uk will give you an idea of the potential for graduates.
To give out more advice and information on the study and work opportunities in the UK, Inter-Ed will be having an exhibit at the British Council on Feb 20 & 21 from 3.00pm – 8.00pm (Friday) and 10.00am – 4.00pm (Saturday). We will be carrying the materials of major British Universities such as Cardiff, London Metropolitan, Bedfordshire, Bournemouth and 20 others, specialist schools such as the Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts (founded by Beatle Paul McCartney and with the Queen of England as its patron), and those of Bellerbys College (Oxford, Cambridge, London, Brighton) which runs excellent preparation courses for those wanting to enter a UK university but lacking the necessary academic credentials.
If you are interested in upgrading your qualifications and setting up a great future in the UK, call me on 819-1001 or text me on 0918-912-5191 or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can get information to you. Or, of course, attend the exhibit which is entirely FREE OF CHARGE.
I wish a Happy and employed 2009 to everybody.