US News Brexit: au pair, the end of a tradition

05:20  01 march  2021
05:20  01 march  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Le système des jeunes au pair était une tradition bien installée au Royaume-Uni (illustration). © Getty Images / PhotoAlto - PhotoAlto / Eric Audras The au pair system was a well established tradition in the United Kingdom (illustration).

Since January 1 and the implementation of a new points immigration system in the United Kingdom, au pair stays have become almost impossible for young Europeans, who nevertheless constitute the majority of applications.

It is an old and very popular tradition in the United Kingdom that the advent of Brexit has just completed: au pairs. The system is for families to house, feed and give a little pocket money to a young foreigner who has come to improve their English and learn about British culture, in exchange for hours of care and odd jobs.

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During the school year, these young people are a vital pillar for the family of Hélène, mother of two children in a London binational household with a tight agenda. But since Brexit, candidates are scarce. And after the departure in July of Perle, her young au pair with the predestined first name, this mother does not know at all how she is going to do it.

Regarding the oldest child going to school on his own, no problem. But for the eight-year-old, it looks more complicated. “Since we don't live next to school, we need someone to bring her and bring her back. And a nanny is impossible, it's way too expensive, ”says Helene, distraught.

At least 23,000 euros per year

However, according to the new immigration system in force, European au pairs must now earn at least 23,000 euros per year to obtain a visa, i.e. four times more than the budget previously planned. there by tens of thousands of families.

Cynthia Cary of Rainbow Au Pair employment agency confirms the scale of the disaster: “We have no records. Our business has been completely destroyed. We have requests, but no offers. And if that doesn't improve, we'll have to go out of business. "

Petitions and campaigns supported by various MPs, nothing helped. The government retorts that the British workforce can fill the gaps, quickly forgetting that the program was above all an unparalleled opportunity for language and cultural exchange.

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This is interesting!