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UK Working Restrictions Encourage OE Alternatives

Tougher UK Working Restriction Encourage Oe Alternatives

The number of New Zealanders looking to more exotic destinations for their OE is growing, according to one of New Zealand’s largest travel agencies.

In a nationwide survey of Flight Centre consultants, Canada stood out as the hot new favourite for working holidays, with many young kiwis doing back-to-back winters so they could keep up their skiing or snowboarding.

While Britain remains ever popular for the traditional OE, changes to its immigration rules mean kiwis will only be allowed to work for a maximum of 12 months during their two-year stay.

This has made other destinations look increasingly attractive.

Wellington's the Terrace Flight Centre consultant Ella Law said she has dealt with a lot of young people heading to Canada to work and ski for a year, although many of them still apply for their British visas in Canada before heading to London to start the European leg of their travels.

While more than half the consultants who responded to the survey cited Canada as the most popular ‘alternative’ OE destination in recent months, both South America, for the adventurous traveller, and Ireland, for the traditional pub jobs, were also named as two new favourites.

Ireland was also popular with people who had used up their allocated working holiday time in England, but wanted to make it back in through the “back door”.

Among the more unusual destinations named was Amsterdam – due to the reasons for going, not the place.

Palmerston North Flight Centre consultant Brydie Wightman said he had several young people looking to live in Amsterdam for the “legalised recreational substances” and even one person who wanted to “earn some good money” in the city’s sex industry.

Flight Centre area leader Carlee McCaw said young kiwis were also looking towards organised work programmes such as Camp America or teaching English in Asia for their chance to see the world, as they took much of the hassle out of getting visas and finding work on arrival.

Some socially conscious Flight Centre clients were also volunteering for programmes such as ACCRA and World Vision, instead of embarking on what one young person described as the “totally cliché” London working holiday.

And for those looking for love, Ireland may also be a good option, according to Brydie Whitman.

“We had a girl who went on a return ticket to Ireland for the matchmaking festival, and never came back!”

© Scoop Media

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