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I have recently returned to Britain after 17 years teaching English in China. I am 66 but still fit and energetic. I am not ready to stop working yet but I’m having trouble finding anything. The problem is that I have no checkable work history or refences from UK employers in recent years and everybody wants them, even for shelf stacking in Tesco, or working as a volunteer in a charity shop. Chinese companies don’t give references the way UK companies do and in my last two schools nobody else can speak or write decent English anyway. I still have some good friends here in Loughborough but they are not in professional jobs or employers so they don’t count. I still enjoy teaching and I did nothing wrong in China. My visa was not renewed because of my age. But I can’t get an enhanced DBS check from the Chinese Public Security Bureau for teaching jobs either because the Chinese embassy in London will not co-operate for political reasons. Have any other returned expats encountered this kind of problem? Any suggestions how I can get round it? I am pretty flexible about the kind of work I do. The main thing I am looking for is the chance to interact with people; I am spending far too much time alone.