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We asked the Chadwick family, some questions about their journey moving to Australia. They made the move to Perth, Western Australia from the UK with the help of the Down Under Centre where we assisted with their Australia skills assessment and Australia visa application.

How did you find out about the DUC?

“We joined the Down Under Centre back in 2018. We decided we wanted to move to Australia, so I called the Down Under Centre, after an hour long chat with Wes Zandt making me draw bubbles with visa points to explain Australia skilled visas and filling me with excitement and confidence – we signed up!”

What was the first part of the process you attempted?

“We gathered all our documents required for the Carpenter skills assessment such as bank statements and employment history. It was made super easy for us to gather everything we needed as it was listed step by step by the DUC. They even provide templates to use – as we had literally NO idea what to do for the skills assessment application.”

The Down Under Centre now have online software to assist you with the skills assessment process – the DUC Client Portal –  where we guide you on how to gather all your evidence with a messaging tool so you can keep in touch with your dedicated member of staff.

“There is also a private Facebook group to join where you can chat to other people that are migrating to Australia. It was a great way of gaining helpful advice and information on Australia immigration, chatting to other people in the same boat as us and we also made friends moving to the same state. It’s a fantastic community to be a part of.”

When you had everything gathered for the skills assessment how long did it take to come back so you can sit the technical interview?

“Once we had everything gathered for the skills assessment (which didn’t take long to come back) Michael then started preparing for his technical interview for the Carpenter skills assessment. This was super chilled and relaxed. The examiner asked him carpentry related questions that he already knew as a qualified Carpenter.”

“A lot of people go on the Facebook group to ask what the technical interview is like, there’s always people like my husband and other Tradies that have already completed the technical interview that will give you advice on what to expect.”

Once you had the Carpenter skills assessment, what did you do next?

“Once the Carpenter skills assessment was complete, we put in for our Expression of Interest, followed then by lodging the visa with Jenny Baker. Jenny was amazing throughout the process; we called her countless times for help and reassurance. After a 6-month wait we got the phone call from Jenny to tell us our Australian visa was granted! We both cried, it was such an emotional experience.”

How the DUC assisted with the move through partners and helped us save money

“We were introduced to all the DUC partners throughout our time with the DUC, which saved us so much money, like furniture shipping, money transfers etc. We trusted their partners and they were all incredible.”

“Our friends told us to not bother using an agent, told us to cut out the middleman and save money. They’re now living in the UK still unable to move to Australia as they were given the wrong information and we’re here in Perth.”

“The whole migration journey can be stressful but everyone at the DUC went above and beyond to help, they made it a lot easier. So, a HUGE thank you to the DUC team for getting us here and helping us truly live this dream!”

How is it, working in Australia as a Carpenter?

“We arrived in Perth in November, probably wasn’t the best time to look for work as most businesses were starting to shut down for Christmas. We looked a few companies up online before arriving and contacted them. I tried to be as proactive as possible, sign up to recruitment companies and had my resume professionally written. This helped a lot. After 5 weeks of arriving I managed to secure work ready to start in the New Year.”

What Australian qualifications did you require to work in Western Australia as a Carpenter?

“As a Carpenter you will need a AQF lll to be able to obtain a job working as a Carpenter in Australia which is the minimum requirement. There are many different licences that would be beneficial such as “working at heights and confined spaces” however these are not essential to be able to work in Australia.

What are the differences from working as a carpenter in Australia compared to the UK?

Western Australia works more with metal than timber i.e., metal stud walls instead of timber stud walls. The eastern states work a lot more with timber, which is a lot more similar to the UK. A big thing for myself is the weather, which has a huge impact on your mood when working! Of course, everything is better when the sun is shining especially driving down the coast to work nothing beats that! You start earlier here, so you get to finish earlier. My typical day is from 7am – 3:30pm which is great because I get more time with my children than what I did the UK. The pay is roughly the same as what I was on in the UK but of a bonus of living here in Australia.”

Do Australian carpenters use different lingo (wording on site) compared to the UK?

“100% but it doesn’t take long to get use to the different terms and lingo. You will soon be speaking like a true Ozzy before you know it!”

Where in Western Australia do you live? 

“We live NOR in a suburb called Joondalup. We love living North of the River, it’s a 25-minute drive to the city and a 5-minute drive from the beach and close to large shopping malls. We have everything here we need.”

How did the kids settle in Australia?

“Amazingly well, we have 3 children Zac 8, Maisie 6 and Nellie 3. They settled into their school here in Australia immediately and much prefer living here than the UK. They are so much more outgoing now they get to enjoy the outdoor living, most days we wake up to blue skies, it makes a huge difference to our mood.”

What do you miss about the UK?

“Obviously, we miss friends and family back in the UK, however we get to see them every week on Facetime. Other than that, I miss how cheap orange matchmakers are in the UK and double glazing!”

Do you have tips for Carpenters immigrating to Australia?

“Some of the tips I would recommend would be if you have any tools at 110 volts, do not waste your time bringing them. From experience, it’s worth getting your resume professionally written before arriving. When arriving try and obtain as many licences as you can, this simply increases your chances of gaining employment as a Carpenter in Australia.”

Why did you decide to migrate to Australia? Whose idea was it? How did you tell the kids and what was their reaction on moving to Australia?

“We had thought about moving to Australia back in 2015, went to a seminar, met Wes and the team but at the time I don’t think we were really ready. Then in February 2018 we just decided, bugger it let’s do it! We told the two older children, they were excited but didn’t fully understand, but throughout the process I showed them pictures, kept them involved, brought them on holiday with us so they could experience Australia. After the trip, they were counting down the days until we arrived. Keeping the children involved is key, we got them to help look for houses, schools and even surprised them with their visa grants. It can be daunting for them, at times they would feel sad about leaving friends, family, house, school etc but they felt our every bit of excitement buzzed from it.”

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