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Old 24.01.2019, 00:05
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UK to CH Med Device Engineer.

Hello, I just wanted to introduce myself before getting stuck into reading any and all posts that appear relevant.

So Brexit... The referendum occurred whilst my wife and I were living and working on a contract in Denmark. It did not go our way. We returned to the UK and we felt lost. We decided we wanted to make a permanent move to the mainland. I appreciate the apparent irony in wanting to leave the UK due to the UK leaving the EU and moving to the non EU, CH... but please bare with me.

I work in the field of Medical Devices as a Design/Development Engineer (Mechanical) I have about 15 years experience half of this running my own company and operating as a consultant in and around the Cambridge area and Denmark.

My wife works part time as an admin assistant/PA for a local NHS Hospice group.

We have both been to Basel on several occasions and like the city. The position close to the borders, coupled with Switzerlands central to the landmass location strike us an a great base for exploring the continent from in our down time. I am hoping the hills and mountains inspire a return to a love of mountain biking that has been utterly derailed by living in the Cambridgeshire fens for the past 5 years. Also there seems to be plenty of call for med-tech positions in the city and surrounding cantons.

We are planning for a Q1 2020 move. I have started the signal fires by informing my current clients that I will be unavailable from December this year. In fact we have booked a round the world trip for December to mid Feb and plan to return to Europe with a new life in Switzerland.

Questions will arise as time goes on, leaving aside questions resulting from the current Brexit mess. (I have been lucky enough to claim Irish citizenship but I do have concerns over my wife's status who has no such option immediately available.)

Initially I would like to hear from anyone working in Medical devices/med tech who may be able to offer any tips or advice. I am likely to be looking for permanent employment options initially but could be interested in continuing my consultant/contract approach.

Additionally any tips on finding employment for my wife on a part time basis would be welcome. We plan to start the employment search towards the end of this year.
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Old 24.01.2019, 00:58
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Re: UK to CH Med Device Engineer.

Well, to get a permit to live here, you’ll need a job (or confirmed ability to support yourself ...not sure how that works for a self-employed consultant).

Assuming you get a job, and register as an Irish passport holder (=EU), then your wife (UK passport?) would I believe get a “allowed to work” permit too. Then she is considered part of the available worker pool and companies would not need to apply for permission to hire her. (Side note: companies have to justify employing people from outside the country if the person is non-EU or in certain job groups).

As an admin assistant or PA, it’s likely she would need at least some German. So I’d focus on getting that going. Then even if she does not find a job immediately, she would be able to make small conversation and maybe do some voluntary work as a way to meet people (and find out about non-advertised jobs).
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Old 24.01.2019, 10:11
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Re: UK to CH Med Device Engineer.

For an admin role or a PA role more like full on German would be required and the choice for people with languages here is embarassing, 2 is normal, 3 is close to normal, 4 you become interesting
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Old 24.01.2019, 16:17
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Re: UK to CH Med Device Engineer.

Thank you for the responses. I hope to have secured employment prior to arrival. My intention is to look for permanent work as a priority but I would consider contract basis if needs be.

We are both currently attending German classes to brush up our under exercised language skills. The PA/Admin role is not an essential, volunteer work sounds like a great way to stave off boredom and make connections.
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