Finding work as a Tradie in Australia

Australia is a destination country with great work perks and plenty of opportunities for most construction, engineering and electrical trades, but finding work as a Tradie in Australia can be difficult and frustrating. Wes Zandt, Founder of the Down Under Centre gives some great insight and tips on how to find work in Australia as a Tradie!

Presenting yourself in the best possible way to future employers is crucial. Holding Australian qualifications show that you meet the Australian Industry Standards. If you have completed a skills assessment as part of the visa process, then you will likely have been awarded an Australian qualification (i.e. Certificate III). If your Partner was the main applicant, then you should seriously consider obtaining this qualification; The Down Under Centre can assist with this. Whilst this isn’t essential, it is highly recommended; it looks good on your CV and will open up more employment opportunities.

Preparing Yourself

“The licensed trades – electricians, plumbers, air-conditioning – will need an Offshore Technical Skills Record to assist with the process of their Australian licence.”

This is awarded as part of the skills assessment. You should contact the Australian State Regulator in your trade prior to migrating, to ensure you are fully aware of, and prepared for, any further GAP Training that is required for you to complete your tasks; safely and legally.

Meeting the requirements for the qualification is the same as meeting the requirements for a skills assessment – this can add 5 points to your Partner’s visa application.

You must also hold a White Card (the Australian version of the CSCS Card in the UK) which The Down Under Centre can provide for you.

As in the UK, you can be an employee, self-employed subcontracting to a builder/labour hire company or run your own business. When applying for jobs do be upfront to the employer regarding the stage you are at with your visa application. If you intend to arrive in Australia with your tools and/or work vehicle this could be a huge benefit. At the Down Under Centre we are in regular conversations with Australian employers and their biggest frustration is having migrants applying for jobs, but not being job ready.

Work Expectations

Understanding the job role you are applying for and researching the Australian requirements to fulfil these duties is extremely important. A good example of this: in the UK a Joiner might be someone who is working on site doing first and second fix, roof trusses, floorboards, etc.; however, in Australia these duties are carried out by a Carpenter.  A Joiner in Australia would be someone working in a workshop on form structures ready for installation; making doors, window frames, staircases and balustrades, etc.

Managing your own work expectations should also be considered. You are moving to a much warmer climate where you could be dealing with extreme humidity in the summer months. Some states have more extreme temperatures / humidity than others. It’s important to also remember that, although you may have the necessary experience in your country of origin, when you arrive you’ll be working and dealing with the Australian working ways. You must try to blend in with this rather than sticking to your country of origin habits.

The employer’s expectations of foreign workers will vary. Many employers will take into consideration that you are new to the Australian trade market and give you time to adjust. Other employers, especially those that hire sub-contractors, may simply expect you to arrive on their job site ready for work and not ask too many questions.

Labour Hire is a growing trend in Australia and many of our clients get their first job this way; it’s a great way to get their feet on the ground and learn the Australian way of working. From there anyone can naturally progress to making contacts and forming work relationships that will ultimately suit your lifestyle and choice of work.

From conversations with employers we are advised that the construction trade market in Australia is expected to grow throughout Western Australia, while keeping very consistent in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. You should seek information on the availability of your trade occupation in the state you are moving to prior to arriving, to manage your expectations.

DUC Employment Hub

The Down Under Centre launched the DUC Employment Hub in September 2018 to connect English speaking, skilled, eligible migrants to employers. Migrants create their personal profile, including uploading their qualifications, employment evidence and their job specific requirements. Employers can view these profile pages, follow the migrant’s visa progression, and contact them with employment opportunities. Employers are told all migrants using the DUC Employment Hub are eligible for visas, in the process of applying for a visa, or already hold a visa. Migrants seeking employer sponsorship can also use the DUC Employment Hub to upload their relevant documents to secure successful employment and sponsorship.

Wes Zandt is an Australian Plumber and has many contacts within the Australian construction industry.  Contact him to discuss your eligibility for a skills assessment, Visa and jobs.

Tel: 0203 376 1555 Email: Web: