Published on : Thursday, October 27, 2016
In a survey carried out two weeks ago* more than half of young British adults said they would consider a temporary move abroad to travel or work post-Brexit, and they cited Australia as their most preferred place to do that outside of Europe.
Since 1975, Australia has welcomed British citizens aged 18-30 to work and travel on the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa, and the Australian government has just announced a package of new measures aimed to increase Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for young working holiday makers.
The WHM scheme allows British citizens aged 18-30 to work in Australia for up to two years**, providing the opportunity to work and travel the country. Currently around 40,000*** British citizens travel on a WHM visa each year and the Australian government, working with Tourism Australia, is looking to increase those numbers in 2017.
The package of measures announced includes a $50 reduction in the WHM visa so that from the 1st January 2017 the WHM visa will cost $390, approximately £242**** and the tax rate applying to working holiday makers will be set at 19 per cent on earnings up to $37,000, rather than 32.5 per cent. The Australian government is also exploring the possibility of extending the age limit, so that British citizens aged up to 35 years could travel on this visa.
To raise awareness of the WHM scheme Tourism Australia has installed a pop up beach at Victoria Station in London, providing information on the visa and inviting young Brits to enter a competition to win one of ten free flights to Australia with youth travel specialist STA Travel. Staff dressed as surf life savers are telling the story of why there’s nothing like a working holiday in Australia, highlighting the huge variety of jobs available and the amazing range of travel experiences across the country.
At the beach the Hon Steven Ciobo, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment, launched Tourism Australia’s WHM Influencer Programme, whereby the tourist board will work with high profile personalities with engaged social media followings to help raise awareness of the scheme and drive intention amongst 18-30 year olds to travel on the visa.
Lucy Watson, who starred in eight series of E4’s Made in Chelsea, has an Instagram following of 1.3m and a successful jewellery business, had not heard of the scheme despite travelling to Australia on a number of occasions. She says:
“I’ve spent lots of time in Australia, and always had the most incredible experiences. Each time I visit I seem to like it even more and find something else that surprises me. The food, people and of course the weather make it one of my all-time favourite destinations”.