Many Britons are taking up a working holiday visa and spending a gap year in Australia to avoid unemployment.
21 August 2009
Gap year students escape unemployment in Australia
Record numbers of students receiving their A-level results today are set to jet off on gap years in places like Australia and New Zealand to escape unemployment in Britain.
The most popular destination is Australia which offers a two-year working holiday visa to UK residents under the age of 31. The Australian Government will also allow Australia Working Holiday Visa holders the opportunity to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa provided they have worked as a specified worker in regional Australia for three months.
The gap year industry is booming and Tom Griffiths, of advice website Gapyear.com, said gap year take-ups have risen by as much as 20 per cent over the past 12 months.
Up to 200,000 Britons take time out each year - 130,000 of them school-leavers looking for a change of pace after months of exams.
Projects Abroad said it was receiving a growing number of requests from young people who did not want to return home because of the grim prospects of finding jobs in the UK.
Mr Griffiths said there are many factors contributing to the increases and one of them is young people wanting to get a career edge.
"Youngsters are reading in the papers that graduates are struggling to get a job and employers are looking for something extra."
Mr Griffiths said employers place enormous value on gap year experiences which help candidates to stand out from the crowd.
"In the current climate, there is also the fact that the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' has become less willing to shell out on teenagers fresh from taking their A-levels to embark on degrees only to drop out in their first year."
Having experience of working overseas might set someone apart from those who have progressed straight from school to university.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australia visa applications.