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A growing economy looking for the right people

Alongside Australia’s famous outdoors lifestyle, stunning scenery and rich, multicultural society, the country also has a growing economy and a skill shortage in certain areas of industry.

This makes it a very appealing option to those looking to locate overseas.

According to a recent report published by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science: "Migration is an increasingly important factor underlying Australia’s economic growth. An ageing population andincreasing demands for skilled labour mean this is likely to continue."

It goes on to comment that over the past few years an increasing percentage of the skills the country needs have been brought in by foreign migrants. Primary areas of growth are:

  • Services including:
    • Accommodation and food
    • I.T. media and telecoms
    • Finance
    • Health care and social assistance
    • Real estate
  • Mining (although employment rates in this area have fallen due to the completion of recent infrastructure development)
  • Construction (again, a strong area of growth but, for now, employment has fallen)
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing

To live and work in Australia, you will need a visa but the type you get depends on what your skills are and the kind of job you’re looking for. The good news is that the Australian government provides plenty of support and information to get you through the process.

If you have the kind of qualifications and skills Australia needs, you can be:

  • Invited to apply for a skilled visa by the Australian government
  • Nominated for a skilled visa by a state or territory
  • Nominated for a skilled visa by an employer

A good place to start is to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the SkillSelect portal. A clever way of matching migrants and skill needs within the country (including more rural areas as well as the urban ones), this is not a visa application but rather a means of registering your details so that potential employers can find you. Depending on your skills and experience, you may be invited to go on and apply for a visa or an employer may take a look at your profile and like you so much that they want to sponsor you.

There are several work visa options available, depending on your level of skills, education, and profession. Find a chart comparing the different types of visas, a full list of visas available, and a useful visa finder tool here. (All from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website).

If you are applying for a visa independently (as in, you are not sponsored, or invited to apply by a company or the government), you’ll need to nominate a profession from the Skilled Occupations List. Professions included on this and the associated Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL) are diverse and include: childcare centre manager, ship’s engineer, architect, and podiatrist. Skills will need to be verified by the relevant Australian assessment board as part of the visa application, and the list is regularly reviewed and updated (find the up-to-date list, details of assessment authorities and more information here).

More information on work, permits and rights can be found on the Australian government Home Affairs website.

Two areas of caution to note: paying for a visa sponsorship is illegal, so if a company asks you do to this, it’s against the law and may be a scam. Also, some people find the visa application process complicated and choose to use a migration agent (which is perfectly allowable), but you don't necessarily need to. If you do, make sure they are MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) registered.

There are plenty of places to help you to find work before you relocate.

  • Job Active, Australian government-sponsored job seekers’ directory.
  • DoctorConnect – information on opportunities and incentives for doctors in regional, rural, and remote Australia for home grown professionals and those trained overseas.
  • Harvest Trail – a well-respected site connecting workers and employers in the horticultural industry.
  • Indeed Australia.
  • Totaljobs Australia.
  • For more great places to look, try this helpful list of the top 100 job sites in Australia.

When it comes to applying for a job, as with most countries, it pays to have a well-written, up-to-date and professionally tailored CV (or resume). Provide this with a covering letter, if required, and be prepared for a Skype interview if you’re still overseas.

It’s worth noting that the Australian government is making changes to their visa application process as part of their National Innovation and Science Agenda. They recently made amendments to the skilled migration scheme and introduced an entrepreneur programme. Up-to-date information will always be available on their Home Affairs website.

Don’t let health care worries spoil your enjoyment of your new job. Call our expert advisers for a friendly chat about the level of international health insurance cover you’ll need for your new life in Australia.

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