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Survey downplays working holiday experience

Working holiday experience may not lead to better job opportunities, higher salaries or additional money in the bank, according to recent survey statistics by 1111 Job Bank.

1111 Job Bank (1111人力銀行) announced the Sept. 21 to Oct. 5 survey findings at the Sheraton Hotel Taipei, yesterday. The survey focused on two subject groups; employers, and employees or job seekers.

Of the 1,208 credible employee participant surveys, 27.23 percent have either gone or are planning to go on a working holiday program. Incentives for going on a working holiday program included “language acquisition” (66.14 percent), “overseas experience” (61.59 percent), and to “earn and save money” (55.73 percent). Conflicting statistics show that 31.4 percent of those who go on a working holiday save less than NT$50,000 while only 2.33 percent manage to save more than NT$1 million. The average savings only amount to NT$187,000.

A staggering 87.73 percent of jobseekers believe that a working holiday experience will increase advantages in the bleak job market. Meanwhile, survey results on the employers group showed that 74.27 percent of hiring managers would not give jobseekers with working holiday experience more credit. Survey results show that only 11.65 percent of employers will hire someone because they have had working holiday experiences.

In regard to a higher starting salary or a raise, 47.17 percent of recruiters say that they will not offer a higher salary for perspective employees with working holiday experience. Although 52.83 percent of employers will consider a higher salary for employees with working holiday experience, the average raise was only NT$1,600.

1111 Job Bank Vice General Manager He Qi-sheng (何啟聖) said “the general public believes that working holiday experience would give some a better advantage when job hunting. But in reality, 74 percent of hiring managers would not really care if you've had working holiday experience or not,” He continued by saying “pay wise, employers who are willing to offer a better pay would not provide a significant raise; the average only coming up to just NT$1,600.” He concluded by saying, “we should not restrict ourselves to thinking that working holiday experience directly helps in getting a job. The returns, rather, are self fulfillment in acquiring language, experiencing cultures and gaining independence.”

A university graduate, surnamed Lin, went to Australia on the working holiday program, working jobs varying from farms, factories and cleaning jobs for a year. Lin hopes to return again for a second year of experience. Another past participant in the working holiday program for two years in Australia and Canada, a woman surnamed Lu, said that her returns were not financial, but rather personal, in gaining courage, independence and the ability to communicate in English.

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