Our Communications Manager, Chloe, has just returned from a visit to the Smartaupairs Australia office in Sydney.
Hi! It’s Chloe here, the Communications Manager at Smartaupairs UK.
I have just returned from a trip to Sydney to visit Smartaupairs Australia. It was great to get a real insight into how things work in our Sydney office and I had a fabulous time meeting the team members, many for the first time!
The excellent news is that our Australian team now consists of a department which is fully dedicated to placing Australian au pairs in the UK, Europe and the USA. For this reason, we expect the number of native English speaking au pairs on our books to significantly increase in 2014. Native English speakers are incredibly popular amongst our host families so we are delighted that we are able to meet the ever-increasing demand!
During my visit, I had the opportunity to see how the Australian candidates are interviewed, vetted and prepared for the au pair programme by our dedicated team in Sydney. It was a great chance for me to see how the whole process works, as usually our UK team is first introduced to the candidates once their application is completed and they are ready to begin their host family search.
As soon as a candidate has completed their application forms and chosen the country they would like to be placed in, they receive a country guide (which covers cultural differences, typical family life and general attitudes), safety guide and cook book.
The next step of the process is the interview which is carried out by a member of the Smartaupairs Australia team. Candidates are asked numerous questions, including their reasons for applying and their expectations of the programme. Our team then prepares a comprehensive interview report for the candidate’s profile, references are checked and medical and police checks are applied for.
Only once all documentation has been gathered and the candidate is fully vetted does our UK team begin introducing them to our host families.
The majority of Australian applicants are looking for a placement for their gap year between finishing school and starting university. When applying for the programme, the motivation of Australian candidates is of course different to that of the European candidates, as they do not have the benefit of learning a foreign language. My visit to our Sydney office has taught me that the Australian applicants have a wide variety of opportunities available to them in terms of gap year programmes. Those who chose to become an au pair do so because they genuinely wish to work with children and become part of a family in the UK. Therefore, they often have excellent childcare experience and plans to work with children in later life.
Many families are already interviewing Australian applicants for 2014 placements. If you would like to join them, please get in touch… there has not been a better time to find an Australian au pair for your family!
0800 917 8166