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Who is Eligible to Work in Australia?

Working in Australia is open to so many people at present it is sometimes hard for people outside of Australia to believe the scale of demand that exists.

Australia only has a population of about 21 million or a third of the UK’s 61 million and also shares the twin challenges of the UK of an aging population. 13% of Aussies are 65+ with an education system that has been turning out people with educational qualification or skills that nobody wants. Staggeringly 25% of Australia’s population are immigrants.

Add to this that Australia is very rich in natural resources and closer to the burgeoning economies of India and China than we are in Europe and you can see that there is natural demand and 2010 was already busy in processing those who were interested in working in Australia.

In 2011 you have to add the impact of the natural disasters that have hit Australia in the last 6 months. An area greater than the size of Germany and France combined was under water for several weeks, there were bush fires north of Perth and Northern Queensland was fortunate to have only been brushed by a massive cyclone. This has resulted on an infrastructure bill estimated at A$20 billion (£13m) and an even greater demand for talent which will only increase as the world recovers from recession.

So who does Australia want?

If you are aged 18-30 and wish to apply for a working holiday visa it does not matter what skills, if any, you have as no work is guaranteed on arrival. You have to show that you have sufficient funds to keep yourself and medical insurance is a requirement but the authorities accept and encourage younger people to come and “try before you buy” but this doesn’t suit everybody.

If you are eligible to go down this route you can apply on line by following this link

Not many can meet these challenges and will prefer to have some work lined up prior to moving.  If agencies are to help you they will expect a commitment from you to work in that job for a minimum 6 month period and then they will be looking for skills that are in demand and are discussed below.

Anyone over the age of 30 interested in working in Australia has to find an employer that is willing to sponsor them. Whilst there is huge demand for skills, it is estimated that only one in three jobs are ever advertised. Australian employers prefer to use alternative recruitment processes that weed out all the non-qualifying applicants at an early stage and this is where specialist organisations come into play as they understand how the markets work and the skills in demand.

At present the choice is wide and varied and is split into two groups:

  • Certified Trade Skills with a minimum of 2/3 years practical experience
    • Air Conditioning Engineers
    • Butchers
    • Bakers
    • Diesel Mechanics
    • Carpenters
    • Chefs
    • Electricians
    • Fabricators – right through to Welders
  • Then amongst professionals – a minimum of a first degree and 2/3 years practical experience is required
  • All medical posts
    • Doctors
    • Dentists
    • Physiotherapists
    • Radiologists
  • High end IT for sure but mid level positions also available
  • Construction related – such as
    • Surveyors
    • Architects
    • Engineers
  • However, if you have transferable skills it is worth making enquiries as we’ve found homes for, amongst others, a speech therapist and research scientists as market demand changes.

Australia has a clear preference for immigrants from countries where English is the native language but will accept people from non-English speaking countries where they are obviously fluent or hold such things as an IELTS certification ( )

So Australia is very much a land of plenty including available jobs however anyone considering the move should spend some time researching Australia on the internet and this guide is highly recommended.

Australia isn’t for everyone but it may be for you, if it is – get in touch.


Author: Chris Slay

Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.