Skilled Workers in Australia
Want to trade up?
Are you a skilled trade worker dreaming of a new life Down Under? Our expert answers your top questions…
If you’re a skilled worker working in the trades industry and dreaming of a new life Down Under then you’re in luck – your skills are needed! There are plenty of fantastic job opportunities available in Australia for trades such as carpenters, bricklayers, electrical, fitters and joiners, but where do you start, and how do you find work?
For many, the first consideration will be to complete an Australian skills assessment. You will also need to acquaint yourself with the Australian job market and ensure you are doing the best you can do to maximise your chances of finding work.
Wes Zandt, the founder of the Down Under Centre, an organisation which assists all trades in migrating to Australia, answers your top questions…
WHAT IS THE SKILLS ASSESSMENT?
The purpose of an Australian Skills Assessment is to identify the migrant’s skills and assess them against the Australian standard. Australia’s immigration department want English speaking skilled migrants to migrate from the UK and Ireland to Australia. The skills assessment is a mandatory part of the visa process. At the Down Under Centre, for instance, we have an important role assisting and assessing clients through their skills assessment journey.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF THE SKILLS ASSESSMENT?
For all trades, the first part of the skills assessment is referred to as a Documentary Assessment. This is where a client proves their work experience by showing references from employers, photos and videos where required, and financial proof of employment by two forms, either tax documents, wage slips or invoices.
It does depend if you are self-employed, a sub-contractor or employed as to what information is required. As per all Government forms, documents need to be certified by the correct people. The Down Under Centre team will guide you through this, and explain what is required for the skills assessment process.
A skills assessment for licensed trades, such as electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic, involves a Practical Assessment after the Documentary Assessment part is complete. The Practical Assessment usually consists of three practical tasks as well as technical questions required to be answered. Clients have eight hours to complete the Practical Assessment. Many clients finish the practical before the eight hours given.
For non-licensed trades, and after completion of the Documentary Assessment, a Technical Skype interview is required. These interviews are provided daily by the Down Under Centre and generally run for an hour.
During the interview, the migrant will be assessed by an Australian qualified trainer and assessor in the same occupation. The assessor will run through your daily tasks, tools used and how you go about your day-to-day job. It’s important to realise that the assessor would have looked at your Documentary Assessment prior to your interview.
WHAT ARE THE PROCESSING TIMES LIKE?
The current Skills Assessment processing time for the construction and engineering trades, from receiving the Documentary Assessment to Technical Skype Interview or Practical Assessment, ranges from three to five weeks after the skills assessment application has been received.
The Documentary Assessment gathering of evidence does vary from client to client. Some clients gather the required documents in the first couple of weeks and others may drag their feet, or need to obtain the correct documentation from HMRC or banks that require a further wait. As well as receiving the documents you need for migration, at the completion of your skills assessment, you will receive your Australian Qualification Certificate III, which may be needed to work in Australia.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AQF III AND SKILLS ASSESSMENT?
An AQF III, also known as Certificate III, is the Australian equivalent of the UK’s NVQ City & Guilds Level 3. In Australia, the AQF III is given after completion of the apprenticeship. An AQF IIII is required for the purpose of migration if you do not hold the UK or Irish qualification. One way to find out is to ask a MARA-approved migration agent or call the Down Under Centre.
The process for AQF III’s is similar to the skills assessment pathway. The first part involves gathering work evidence as well as completing the client pack which includes questions to be answered. At the completion of the client pack, you will be asked to come in and complete a Technical Skype interview with an Australian qualified trainer in your occupation.
The AQF III may also be required by some employers to show you have the knowledge of the Australian standards in your occupation. Some employers won’t make it mandatory, while others will.
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