Read about the Rowcroft’s journey of moving to Australia from signing up with the Down Under Centre, to settling and working in Australia!
If you’re a Carpenter, you can get some insight on the Carpenter skills assessment process.
How did you find out about the DUC?
“We decided to join the Down Under Centre back in January 2019. We were chatting online and heard really good things about the Down Under Centre and how great and quick they were so I decided to give them a call and after to speaking to Wes Zandt, he told me my visa would be really easy to achieve I signed up instantly and within 2 days received my DUC box filled full of information on the whole process.”
What was the first part of the process you attempted?
“I started to gather all my documents required for the Carpenter skills assessment such as bank statements and employment history. It was simplified for us to gather everything we needed as it was listed with a step-by-step process in the pack we received, and the DUC also provided templates to use – as we had literally had no clue what to do for the skills assessment application.”
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) I then started preparing for my technical interview for the Carpenter skills assessment. This was so easy and relaxed I don’t know why I was worried about it. The assessor was just asking me carpentry related questions that I already knew as a qualified Carpenter and I also was asking questions about the similarities over building regulations compared to the UK.”
Once you had the Carpenter skills assessment, what did you do next?
“Once the Carpenter skills assessment was complete, I then concentrated on the PTE English test which I underestimated slightly, but after a few attempts I achieved the score I needed to then lodge my EOI. The amazing Jenny Baker guided us all the way from start to finish, my invite came back in June 2019 after about 6 weeks, which was really quick, we then quickly submitted our application for our Skilled Visa for Australia. We called her countless times for help and guidance and every time she reassured us everything would be fine and after only 5 months waiting, we got the phone call we were waiting for, on the 24th November 2019 from Jenny to tell us our Australian visa was granted! We both cried and couldn’t wait to tell the children it was such an emotional day and amazing experience you will never forget.”
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.”
How is it, working in Australia as a Carpenter?
“We arrived in Brisbane on the 15th November 2020. It probably wasn’t the best time to be travelling during COVID-19, but we were determined to get to Australia as planned. During quarantine I was in constant contact with my employer arranging a date to have a chat regarding work and start dates and as soon as we left quarantine. I had a meeting, collected my uniform and agreed a start date for my new job as a Carpenter in Australia. I managed to squeeze in a few days’ work before the Christmas period and to meet the guys I would be working with and they gave me great advice on the best places to buy power tools etc.”
What Australian qualifications did you require to work in Queensland Australia as a Carpenter?
“As a Carpenter you will need an 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 for a company unless you were to become self-employed (ABN) then you would be required to apply for a Carpenters license.”
What are the differences from working as a Carpenter in Australia compared to the UK?
“Eastern Australia works more with timber stud walls instead of metal 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 when you wake up every morning. You start earlier here, so you get to finish earlier. I have the option to start work between 6:30 / 7 am which means you can finish work earlier so you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon off which is great as we go down to the beach to have family time. I am earning more here in Australia as a Carpenter than what I was on in the UK, with the added bonus of the weather and lifestyle of course.”
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 wordings and sayings, but a lot is quite similar especially when you’re from Manchester.”
Where in Queensland Australia do you live?
“We live in a suburb called Cleveland which is amazing and so close to everything we need such as the kid’s schools, the beach at the end of our street and the local football club for our son to continue to play football. Also, with Brisbane just 25 minutes away, we have everything here we need which is fantastic.”
How did the kids settle in Australia?
“They absolutely love it! They say we should have been born here. We have 3 boys; Bradley 15, Aiden 13 and Rhys 8. They have settled into their new life really easy here in Australia and have already made lots of friends here and much prefer living here than the UK. They are so much more outgoing now they get to enjoy the outdoor living and love being outside all the time.”
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. We speak to family more now we are here in Australia.”
Do you have tips for Carpenters immigrating to Australia?
“Some of the tips I would recommend to tradesmen is to bring your hand tools with you and just purchase new power tools when you get here, as there are tax incentives to receive money back from tool purchases. From experience, it’s worth getting in touch with lots of companies to try and secure employment as it’s much easier when you arrive to go straight into a new job.”
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 decided to migrate a few years ago after seeing the lifestyle on wanted down under, also seeing our friend’s lifestyle as they moved here 3 years ago.”
“Brad has always wanted to go since being in his early 20s but having children so young it wasn’t the right time. We saved up for a few years then decided to go for it. After speaking with Wes Zandt from the DUC team, he literally sold the Australian dream to us.”
“Our boys knew from the start of the process and was as excited as we were for the big move!”
“The opportunities here for families is fantastic!”
“Who in the UK can say they have an outdoor swimming pool at school? The boys here do at their school and schooling if fantastic. We did a lot of research with the boys, so they were involved from the start of the process.”