Mxolisi - relocated to a UK teaching job with Hourglass

This teacher’s dream job just happened to be thousands of miles away from his home in South Africa. His goal was to teach business studies in an English school. Hourglass made it happen.

Mxolisi hadn’t heard of Hourglass until the recruitment consultancy came up in conversation with a friend at church. He called up one of the consultants, and soon afterwards had a video interview with a headteacher lined up. A year on, he has settled into school life and is ready to welcome his wife and children to a new home on the outskirts of London.


In South Africa, Mxolisi trained to teach accounting and business studies. He has always been passionate about his chosen career, and his subject, but was concerned about increasing levels of violence amongst students, often aimed at teachers, and a problem with drugs and weapons being brought into school. He felt that there may be greater opportunities for him in the UK, and he wanted his children to experience what it was like to grow up in England.

Exploring opportunities

Mxolisi had never looked closely at international relocation, and found the visa situation a little intimidating. He had also assumed that the costs would be prohibitive. But he has always been ambitious for himself and his family, and was excited to hear that Hourglass could help him.

Hourglass consultants were able to assess Mxolisi’s teaching qualifications and experience. They knew that, although his subject is not on the government’s ‘shortage occupations’ list, some English schools find it difficult to recruit the teachers they need. They were able to pick up the phone and arrange a video interview – which resulted in a job offer for Mxolisi.

There was little time to celebrate then, because Mxolisi was keen to plan his next steps. As it turned out, he found the visa application straightforward and was happy to accept a little financial help from his family. He put this towards the immigration health surcharge costs. The only difficulty was scheduling an appointment for a tuberculosis (TB) test in a clinic approved by the Home Office, but once that was booked in, it was full steam ahead.

International relocation

Mxolisi decided to make the move to the UK alone, leaving his wife and children in South Africa. He has found it hard to be apart from them, but being on his own meant he could concentrate on the job and settling in.

“I felt like I had been thrown into a pond and had a choice whether to sink or swim. Once I set my mind to things, they were manageable. I decided I just had to hit the ground running and take on anything that came my way.

He spent the first two weeks with family in Buckinghamshire and then moved in to a house in Hayes as a lodger. His landlord was a total stranger! Mxolisi rented a room in his three-bedroomed semi-detached house until recently. He has now rented a home big enough for his wife and children to join him.


Hourglass has a specialist overseas recruitment team which provides dedicated support throughout the recruitment and relocation process.

With years of international experience, we are best placed to support the needs and expectations of our candidates.

If you'd like to explore teaching opportunities in England, don't hesitate to get in touch.