How to get in the loop? – part 2


The question of the reality of the labour market and options for career development in the migration country can be clustered into five main issues. I have listed these and briefly described below. Some of them are also illustrations of external constraints of a graduate career development prior to/after migration. Being aware of these will most certainly rise more questions than provide the answers.

However, such questions will fuel the cycle of getting to know yourself better, and blend in with questions on your values, who you are, and what do you want in your current life phase. They will help you with planning for the near future. More importantly, knowing what the situation is out there, may make your expectations clearer, and enable positioning to take relevant career steps.

While doing the research on ‘who I am‘, and ‘how I am to live‘, I would not do this in a vacuum, but rather try to relate to  the following topics:

  • Up-to-date migration legislation (need of visa, work permit)

Whilst the majority of the EU Member States citizens are allowed to live and work in any other part of Europe unconstrained, there are a few exceptions from that for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, including in the UK. If you are a Romanian or Bulgarian – please follow this link to understand the temporary migration and employment restrictions. In January 2014 these will be lifted in nine EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Spain (only Romanians), the UK and Switzerland. All other EU countries lifted restrictions at an earlier stage.

For nationals from outside of the EU, I would suggest to take a better look at the UK visa requirements and decide which type of visa they would like to apply for (working, studying, visiting…). If you decide to migrate to undertake education in the UK (and you are from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland) you can apply for Tier 4 visa, which is part of points-based system for immigration for which you have to score 40 points. Fees vary from £298 (if applying outside the UK),  to £781 (those applying IN PERSON inside the UK). You will find all the relevant information on the UKBA website.

  • The current political situation and debates on the future of the country’s standing, and the repercussions this may have on your right to live and work (UK in/out of the EU?)

This point is worth investigating and paying attention at any new developments, as it may affect your migrants’ status in the UK, in particular if you are an European studying, living, or working in the UK. In January 2013 the British Prime Minister David Cameron promised in/out of Europe referendum if the Conservatives win the general election in 2015. The debate is ongoing. Also, the Queen in her speech in May 2013 proposed legislation for the coming term, and said that ‘the Bill will ensure, that this country attracts people who will contribute, and deters those who will not’. 

This point is widely debated in media, academic research and on the streets of the UK, by citizens and migrants alike. There is plenty on the Internet to read about, e.g. MPs want immigrant ban to save British jobs, British-born workers took majority of jobs created in 2012…but also the estimated number of different nationality migrants, and what impact does it have on the society, for example Polish becomes England’s second language . Please have a look at the public discussion on Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian migrants in the UK, at Channel 4 (24/04/2013), titled Southampton’s immigration decade.

This point requires not only general background reading of employment/unemployment rates, but a thorough research on the issue of employment in specific sectors that might be of interest to you.

  • Employers/Institutions knowledge and recognition (or its lack) of foreign credentials and qualifications

You can have your credentials translated through NARIC, which is he National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on qualifications worldwide. Please have a look also at enic.naric, which is an European Network of Information Centres on academic recognition and mobility, established by the Council of Europe and UNESCO.

Another excellent tool helping you to communicate your skills  and qualifications effectively, and which also helps employers to understand the skills and qualifications of the workforce, and education and training authorities to define and communicate the content of curricula is EUROPASS. Depending on your needs, and your status (student, job seeker and so on) you can find there many useful tools to understand the constraints and opportunities for mobility and career development across the European space, not only the UK.

Equally useful is PLOTEUS  (Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space), on which website you will find  information on learning opportunities and training possibilities available throughout the European Union. The Portal is designed to help students, job seekers, workers, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers to find out information about studying in Europe.

Overall, becoming aware of the reality of the labour market, social attitudes, as well as specific areas of your interest that you would like to focus your career development on, would serve as an excellent basis for your transition into the labour market of your chosen destination. In other words, looking into those aspects would aid a stepping stone smart migration in pursuit of happiness (a balance between various life components of career, family and personal life).

Recommended articles:

Southampton’s Immigration decade (24/05/2013) at Channel 4 – discussion on Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian migrants in the UK

BBC Radio 4 broadcast 05/05/2013 on millions of young people want to work but do not know where to find it – examples of three graduates of various subjects:

Economy tracker: Unemployment 

Personal Career Management 

Keeping your professional career development continuous 

Managers fear impact of in-out EU referendum 

Who are these extremists pulling David Cameron toward an In/Out referendum? Eighty-two per cent of the electorate

Credential and Competency recognition around the world

10 things every graduate should know before they start job hunting


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