Nicholas Lennox

Skilled Futures - Electrical Instillation


Nicholas Lennox is a 2016 Skilled Futures – Electrical Installation Awardee who travelled to the UK to work in an electrical firm in London. Keep reading to learn more about his experiences.

“I was encouraged to apply for the award by my mentors and peers in my area of skill and was interested in expanding my horizons with the opportunity to travel overseas.

I was hoping to gain an insight into how a different part of the world works and lives as well as use the opportunity to gain more experience and learn new technique where I could and discuss the trade with others.

I needed to prepare myself for an entirely different living and work environment to which I researched before heading off on my adventure.

I also needed to prepare by packing away my life in Australia for the estimated duration of my stay in the United Kingdom including; my house, current job. My wife came on the journey with me and also need to be prepared for a massive change in living and working.

I arranged the flights myself with the funding of BBM Youth Support and prepared an itinerary and living arrangements (including bank account etc) with ‘The Working Holiday clubs’ jumpstart program specifically for the situation I was in.

I stayed in London (Stratford) for 3 months working with a company called ‘Carrindale Electrical’ which I enquired about after seeing an ad in the newspaper. My original plans to work in a company known to friends from home had not worked out but I was assertive enough to seek out employment myself. I found this easier to do once in the UK rather than from Australia.

My wife and I lived in shared housing in Stratford in London with 7 other people from multiple places around the world and managed our day to day life well in this situation. The commute to get to the job site was lengthy compared to my commute in Australia; the difference being I had to use the train and it took up to one and a half hours at times to get to work. Stratford was at first very confronting as we were not use to such a mass in cultures in one place (though Australia is multicultural). We settled in well and became familiar with the ins and outs of the area and made friends too. The working holiday club was great in helping get us started on our journey and were a great support system.

I enjoyed living in Stratford as it was central to a lot of places but I most enjoyed the different experience one place had to offer such as places to eat, shop, hang out, read and many more things to do. I learnt how to navigate the area I was in and the tube systems and in working I learnt new techniques and I learnt to go into jobs and places with caution but an open mind.

The time in which we travelled to the UK was the same time many things were happening such as the London bridge attack, Borough Market attack, Grenfell tower blaze and the Parsons Green tube attack. Caution was needed wherever we went but we didn’t let that stop us from going out and finding things to do and places to see.

I would recommend talking with ‘The working holiday club’ about the jump start program in that they were great in getting us set up and started on our journey with necessary preparation such as; setting up a bank account, finding accommodation, getting a National Insurance number (which is needed to work in the UK), they were even able to help in finding work and helping you get in with companies in your skill/ trade area. The only problem we came across with this program was that when they guaranteed to find us accommodation, many young people had come at the same time and needed accommodation so there became limited accommodation. They did however get us in contact with ‘i-rooms’ – an agency who deals in shared housing for this exact situation. We however did not have a good experience with this company and would not recommend them to anyone in future.

It is a good idea to be prepared or have a plan B if and when travelling on the tube, if a tube journey suddenly terminates at a station with the only alternative being a taxi/ Uber or bus. We recommend knowing or having a copy of the bus routes as this is 100 times cheaper than taking a taxi or Uber plus if you’re by yourself (which I recommend always travelling in a group or with a companion) a taxi/ Uber is not the safest option. Also if getting on a bus a night by yourself try and position yourself as close to the driver as possible for pure safety reasons.

This trip will impact my future studies and work life as I have had many more experiences than I would get at home, and has spiked an enthusiasm to travel to other to experience more and share my own experiences with others.

With a baby on the way, I am excited to encourage other people interested in journeying abroad as I am taking on another exciting roll in my life as a dad and won’t be travelling abroad now for a while.”

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