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Rotational jobs in Libya - a word of warning
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Vteacher



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Rotational jobs in Libya - a word of warning Reply with quote

A warning to anyone tempted to go and work in Libya for one of the obscure companies proposing rotational work in the desert. There are ads currently active on one or two tefl recruitment websites. I have an idea what locations they refer to as I spent 4 years in that scene. What I find initially staggering is the low rate of pay. Two companies talk of figures around 18000 UK pounds (around 36000 USD) for a year of this type of work.

First, the notion of an annualized salary for such a position is crazy, unless it is very high. It should be a day rate. If you do the math, these offers are so lamentably low as to be ridiculous. Working rotations in Libya is VERY hard going physically, mentally and socially. Others who have done this type of work Im sure would back me up here. The standards of accommodation, safety and food are often very low, social options are practically non-existent, unless you count TV in this category, and the work can be very demanding and precarious.

18000 quid for such an experience is completely bonkers. You can earn more than that at home!!!! I now work elsewhere in the oil training scene, and can confidently say that a realistic day rate for working in the Libyan desert would be close to 250 pounds per day minimum. Technical trainers there earn around 350 pounds per day. On an 8-week on, 4 week off rotation, even 250 a day translates to about 70,000 pounds a year. A slight difference from 18000.

Anyway, I just thought I would add this to the discussion TEFLers considering the life-changing step of accepting rotational work would be well advised to consider the wider dynamic. You are mortgaging your happiness in such a role, so demand decent pay, at the least. The alternative is the realization that you have been conned. Make no mistake even 4 weeks far from family and friends, eating garbage and with little to divert your attention, is a big ask. Doing it for 18000 pounds a year is a recipe for a short, bitter and dispiriting experience. The employers know this, and are prepared to accept a high turnover. Are you?

Oh, and one other thing if ever you do accept such a job, youll also be needing comprehensive life and accident insurance, reimbursement of travel expenses and anything else you can screw out of them. Dont sell yourself short it could end in tears.
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1076
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. 70,000 quid a year. Now we're talkin' Cool Good on ya!
Not that I'd be on the next flight to Tripoli, but what kinds of quals does one need for a gig such as that?
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Longton



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 148

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all about the laws of supply and demand. If there are qualified people willing to work for only 18,000 a year in the Libyan desert then why should an employer offer more? They just need bodies to fill slots. Technical trainers are in shorter supply hence the higher salaries.
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Libya Reply with quote

I'm on rotation in Libya right now and earn a fair bit more than that.....in fact, quite a bit more. I also get 6 return flights a year and as the plant is new the facilities are excellent. 2 first class gyms, a pool, sat tv, pool tables, snooker, pinball and 1 day off a week to chill. I also have internet access in the office and get free calls home. 42 days on is ok as the holidays are fantastic and allow me to visit my son 6 times a year, which I couldn't do if I was in Saudi.

Sirte Oil and Veba are really isolated gigs in this part of the world. Except for BAe and perhaps the few US military contracts in Saudi the money is krap everywhere these days. Libya is about saving for a deposit or paying your debts off quickly. You can't run off to Bahrain for the weekend and blow wads and you don't have any daily expenses...that's it.

Comparing EFL teachers with Technical trainers is a false comparison as it completely ignores the economics of transfer earnings. The fact is, you can earn 1,500 quid a month in Poland quite easily now if you're prepared to do a few privates. The money is going down and beggars can't be choosers. Only the privately funded can refuse to work.

Funnily enough, my new girlfriend used to waitress in a restaurant in London and made 700 Quid in a good week.....ie 1,400 Dollars. So, that' s where we are in the scale of things.
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Tom Le Seelleur



Joined: 27 Dec 2007
Posts: 242

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to work rotation in the Libyan desert and was paid 28000 pounds on a 5 and 4 rotation. All expenses paid. The working day was reasonable, excellent and motivated students and a joy to teach. I did plenty of study, played snooker, footy and squash with the locals or played cards, read, talked, drank coffee and watched films/TV. It was a good life. 18000 is way too cheap but not surprising that some employers are getting large amounts of payments but not passing on the salaries to employees.
Tom
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Vteacher



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the replies here miss the point. I was trying to explain that working for bullsh*t money in such posting is plain daft. Of course there will be people who are willing to do it (those on the lam from scotland yard perhaps) but in my opinion, they are doing themselves a gross diservice. If the laws of supply and demand are taken to their logical conclusion, why don't we cut to the chase and just agree to work for a 100 dollars a week and be done with it? - at this rate we'll get there in the end, so why waste time? I've perhaps harped on about this in previous postings, but Teflers as a group stagger me with their (regular, not universal) ability and even willingness to crawl around accepting any meagre offer they can find. Not all, but many. I posted the warning to open people's eyes who might value the view of someone with experience in the scene. If people choose to take on such a job, yippee for them! Sadly, given our inability/refusal to stand up for better conditions, the wheel of poorer offers and more desperate applicants will continue.
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kanterbrau



Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vteacher is one hundred percent correct in his assessment of the situation and I completely agree that until tefl teachers stand up to be counted we will continue to be treated as second class citizens - especially in the sort of work environment he has so accurately described.

Some time ago I had the misfortune to work on just such a contract in Oman for Occidental Petroleum ( Oxy ) via Hawthorn Muscat - Sur International Hotels. After several altercations with the Training Supervisors who are as indolent and inept a crew as it has ever been my misfortune to encounter - and I used to work in the Civil Service so, trust me, I know indolence and ineptitude when I see them - it was decided to let me go. Humdilallah!

The main problem was their expecting me to work the same hours as they did - far in excess of the contract I had signed with Hawthorn - and to add insult to injury for about 10% of the daily rate they were receiving.

The interesting thing about this experience was the reaction of the other trainers at the site. They said that I would have been a "sucker" to work that number of hours - especially in such a remote location and under those living conditions ( room not much wider or longer than a single bed, shared ablutions, suspect food and no recreational facilities apart from a gym ) - for what amounted to 100 USD a day. They all agreed that they, without the sllightest shadow of a doubt, would not.

Further, they gave me a number of names of personal contacts and email addresses to approach with a view to getting a fair wage for that type of work. The one I heartily recommend is www.oilcareers.com. It works in much the same way as tefl.com with an online CV but these very nice people will also contact you if something suitable comes in to them. It's worth visiting just to see the sort of salaries that other professionals are receiving in such environments.

I hope this has been of use.

Good luck.
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globalnomad2



Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 562

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Libya? Yuck. I'm in one of the better West African countries with 28/28 rotation, all tickets paid, and wages more than anything in the Middle East.
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 642
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Libya is a lovely country, far more interesting than any of the four Gulf countries I've lived in.
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mistral



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 93
Location: Herat Afghanistan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Where's that? Reply with quote

Hey globalnomad, Which gig is that? Is that 4 weeks on 4 weeks off?
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ozoyster



Joined: 11 Nov 2008
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: A Bad case of the NGO's in Desert Libya Reply with quote

I would agree about not working on NGO/ Rotational jobs in Libya. I went there about a 18 months ago working for a non governement organisation. It was a pretty horrific experience. Two of us on this job were fired after three months because we did not quite 'fit in' to the teacher profile that the DOS seemed to be personally comfortable with. It had nothing to do with the standard of our work.

It could also have had something to do with the fact that he was asking us to 'doctor' exam results because the students and administaration staff at this centre seemed to think that they deserved higher marks than we had given them. This was quite interesting given that our DOS claimed to be a registeresd examiner with Cambridge. It was the first time I'd encountered education workplace fraud. I am very sure that our DOS was colluding with both the Centre management in the above and also with the full knowledge of our 'boss' in Tripoli.

We were basically bullied by this DOS who was colluding in all this with the management of this outfit. I and my colleague team taught our students and got them through their work with quite fair marks. But this was not enough according to our DOS. He bullied and berated us about our marks and reports and then on the last day told my colleague that he was fired.

Amazingly this was don without any feedback from centre management or any written evidence or backup as to why we were being dismissed. It was also interesting that he had been working with the previosu outfit o this job who had lost their contract earlier in the year.

After this and another shocking experience with Hawthorn later that year in Oman I have quit the ESL scene altogether after only three years. Its a joke to be paid about 12,000 to 15,000 pounds a year when you consider that a front of house receptionist in a UK company can earn about 15'000 doing a job which is much less demanding than that of an ESL teacher.

I have completely sepped away from teaching and am retraining in a job which even as a trainee pays more and has much greater prospects. Do yourslef a favour and stay away from jobs which offer this kind of 'toy' money wage.

These people and organisations are a hazard and need to be stood up to. They have no respect for the teachers they employ. please take my advice. Don't be foolish and apply for jobs here. The pay is low and as detailed above, teachers are only 'cannon fodder' for students and other staff to abuse and then get rid of when expedient.
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Libya Reply with quote

Look, any country has hit and miss positions.

Libya, Saudi etc are about money and nothing else.

There are some very good positions in Libya.
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Vteacher



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I started this thread, I'll add another word perhaps by way of closure. As I've said before, I think that many of us in the EFL sector tend to be our own worst enemies. When you choose to ignore good sense and take a dodgy, badly-paid position with a non-descript company in a place like Libya, don't be surprised when it all ends in tears. It's that simple.

Libya is, if nothing else, a corrupt dictatorship and a confirmed police state. In my opinion this filters into everything else in the place, including the EFL scene. As others have said, there are some good jobs (although not good enough - 3000 quid a month is small compensation for weeks spent in the Sahara watching your beard grow), but you need to set standards and not compromise. My previous postings detail what I consider realistic in terms of pay and conditions. If you choose to sign work contracts with companies that sound like 3rd rate wheat traders (which they probably are), you should expect the worst; and when it all goes to hell, notch it up to experience. Oh, and I think that some of you erstwhile teachers of English should spend a little more time worrying about your spelling and grammar, than crying off on forums like this one! Just a thought. VT
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sharter



Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Posts: 878
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: ha ha Reply with quote

An anal comment like that is bound to close a thread Vteacher. This is a blog not a proficiency test.

Your posts ignore the theories of economic rent and transfer earnings, which makes your point of view irrelevant as it has no relation to reality.

Libya is a good place to pay off debt and get a deposit together. Most of the posts here give you at least 4 months paid holiday a year and 2,500-3,000 quid a month tax free, which is ok in the world of education.

Why don't you have a go at nurses for earning 20 grand year in the UK?Pointless, it's how it is.

The market for the knowledge that English teachers have is not the same as the one for technical trainers.

You don't have to rot in the desert here either, especially if you're near the coast. The people who do ok here are the ones who don't have to have everything on a plate. Many people like it here. It's a good place for sports enthusiasts and people who like their space so they can pursue less energetic passtimes. People read and write books or study for MAs etc.......it's about having hobbies and aims and putting money away.

Life isn't fair and people rarely get rewarded according to the fruits of their labour.
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Vteacher



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, there's nothing more heartening than the discourse of the happily employed. Good for you! You're no doubt right on everything you say. The way you portray Libya and the joys of working there show clearly that you're delighted by the place, and wouldn't be interested in a job elsewhere, or on better terms. For my own part, I guess I'll just have to return to concentrating on my own onerous job, a 28/28, fully insured, all-expenses paid, 300 quid per day (tax-free) drag. Oh well....
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