Frequently asked questions about working at Port Lockroy
Q. What age do applicants need to be?
We accept applications from anyone age 18+ and there is no upper age limit.
Q. I'm disabled or have a pre-existing medical condition, can I apply?
To work in Antarctica, you must be deemed medically fit. Upon appointment, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire provided by our Occupational Health Team. On completing this you will need to provide medical information and obtain confirmation and clearance from your own GP and dentist.
Where there is a significant medical condition, we reserve the right to take this into consideration when determining the suitability of an application. We will base this decision upon medical guidance.
Q. I'm not from the UK, will you still consider my application?
Yes! But you must have a valid passport (of any nationality) and be willing to travel to the UK for selection and training, then travel to Antarctica via South America. We are unable to sponsor or assist with UK visa applications.
Candidates also need to have a good level of written and spoken English.
Q. Can I apply as part of a couple or group?
We only accept individual applications and cannot consider joint or group applications.
Q. What are the key dates I need to know about if I’m shortlisted?
- Mandatory interview and selection day: 13 - 15 May 2020 in the UK.
- Mandatory training: 3 - 9 October 2020 in Cambridge, UK.
If you cannot attend the above dates, your applications will be unsuccessful.
Q. Will UKAHT pay for travel to selection and training?
We require all of our shortlisted candidates to attend two days of selection in the UK. We are unable to cover any travel costs for this so you will need to make your own way to Cambridge. Accommodation and food is provided during the event.
The selected team also attend a training week in the UK at some point in September or October before deployment to Antarctica (usually around the end of October). We pay reasonable costs towards UK travel for this (not international travel) and accommodation and food is provided during the training week.
All travel to and from Antarctica will be covered by UKAHT.
Q. How many positions are available in total?
We have four vacancies: Base Leader, Shop Manager and two Base Assistants.
Q. Are posts voluntary or will I get paid?
All positions are paid. You will be contracted on a self-employed basis for six months.
Rates of pay: Base Leader £1800 per month, Shop Manager £1550 per month, Base Assistant £1250 per month.
Q. Can dietary requirements be considered?
The team shares meals and cooking duties so it is very hard to cater for special dietary requirements, food allergies and intolerance. We can cater for vegetarians.
Q. Is smoking permitted?
Port Lockroy is a non-smoking environment. All forms of smoking including traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vapours are prohibited.
Q. I have no previous experience travelling to Antarctica, does that mean I'll be unsuccessful?
Not necessarily! We look for a range of skills and experience - along with enthusiasm - so read through the job packs and if you have something to offer, send in an application.
Q. Do I need Post Office experience?
You do not need Post Office experience. We look for different skills for each of the available roles.
Q. Are there any particular skills you are looking for this year?
We are keen to hear from people with retail management, shop management or stock control experience for the Shop Manager role.
Group leadership experience in remote locations is also desirable for the Base Leader role.
Q. How long does it take to travel to Port Lockroy?
It depends but on average it takes 10 to 14 days. This includes a two day flight to Ushuaia, Argentina and then anywhere between three to 10 days on a ship. Weather will play a big part in how long your journey will be.
Q. Will I be able to stay in touch with loved ones while on Port Lockroy?
Communication is primarily via satellite. Basic text-only email on a single address is available for work purposes: staying connected with HQ and coordinating ship visits and logistics onsite at Port Lockroy. This can be used for personal email, but these are kept to a minimum as there is little time for social communication.
There is no internet access at Port Lockroy nor is there mobile phone reception.
We have satellite telephones, chiefly for use for emergencies at Port Lockroy and scheduled communication with the UK Operations team. The cost of satellite phone calls is very high, the connection is not always reliable, and its main purpose is for safety. There is limited access to these for personal use. You will have very minimal communication with home for up to five months.
Q. What is the deadline for applications?
Send your completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 17:00 (GMT) on Monday 9 March 2020. Email applications only please.