Working in Australia
Expats working in Australia may not have sky-high salaries to boast about but, for the most part, they seem to be happy with their job, their work environment and their work-life balance; a statement that arguably stands as the most underestimated advantage of moving to and living in Oz.
Furthermore, those that do decide to relocate to Australia will find themselves within a national economy that’s strong and stable; the Oceanic island remains one of the only developed nations, other than Germany, to see an improvement in labour markets even in the face of the world’s financial crisis. Though 17 years of growth was curtailed by the recession, the country quickly recovered, and has since reinstated a remarkably low unemployment rate and a rising GDP.
While it’s true that certain well-thought out fiscal policies were partially responsible for salvaging progress, it’s also clear that Australia’s close associations with China and India, nations in the throes of rapid growth and industrialisation, have proved incredibly advantageous.
The three countries have become close trading partners, and resource-rich Australia has become a primary supplier for the growing populations of the emerging Asian superpowers.
It follows then that expats interested in working in Australia would do well to explore opportunities in mining and construction – both booming industries that the country finds itself without the proper manpower to service. As a result, individual companies and even regional and national governments have started going out of their way to secure foreign labour that can satisfy skills shortages, and keep their projects afloat.
Finding a job in Australia
Most expats will need to find and secure a job prior to entering and working in Australia. The government’s immigration department is as strict as it is efficient, and those employed without a work permit will be promptly deported.
Most expats come to work in Australia on an employer-sponsored visa. The hiring company must prove that a position exists for the expat, and that no local candidate is qualified to assume the responsibilities required by the position (something that actually can prove quite difficult given that nearly half of Australia’s workforce has a tertiary qualification, and that many senior managers and technical staff have international experience).
As a result, though skills shortages have produced a crucial need for certain kinds of labour, the stringent permit eligibility rules often hamper attempts to import foreigners from abroad.
Regardless, this point should only be a concern once a job has been secured and a contract has been negotiated.
Expats on the job hunt should start by joining industry associations and by perusing the career centres maintained by regional governments. Additionally, national newspapers, such as The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald, also regularly publish job listings and advertisements in segmented employment sections.
Similarly, if an area within Australia that an expat wishes to work in has been narrowed down, local and community newspapers can also be good resources. It should be noted, however, that it’s easier to find jobs in rural Australia than it is to find jobs in urban Australia.
Online job portals are also convenient and easily accessible.
Lastly, it’s never a bad idea to register with recruitment agencies that cater to one's industry.
Applying for work
Once an expat has pinpointed their employment path, they can apply in accord with the standard Australian protocol – this includes submitting a cover letter and CV (or resume) specifically tailored to the job they're applying for.