Monday, 22 August 2011
Moving to Australia – Guide to Working in Australia
That said, Australia, like most countries, has a skill shortage in certain fields, so they are actively encouraging applications from people with those skill sets. Assessment of an applicant’s skills is worked out using a points system based on work experience, qualifications and language proficiency.
The Australians play hard but they don’t have it all easy, they also work hard too. Skill sets are highly valued in Australia and well rewarded, so it pays to bring something to the party. The types of job available are wide ranging but they require a level of provable competence and experience.
Visas and Work Permits
To be able to live and work in Australia legally you require a visa and, if you are a UK resident, there are a number you can choose from. The Skilled Visa can be applied for by anyone under the age of 45 who has a good knowledge of English and the skills or qualifications listed on Australia’s skilled occupation list or on the Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List. Within this category, there are several different types of visa: these include; the skilled independent migrant visa, the skilled sponsored migrant visa, the skilled regional sponsored migrant visa and the skilled recognised graduate visa.
None of the above require sponsorship from an Australian based employer. Sponsorship comes into play where the applicant fails to reach the required standard or level of proficiency. In this case the applicant must seek sponsorship from an eligible relative that is already living in Australia.
Another option is to have your employer sponsor your application for a visa. Again there are many different sorts and some are temporary and some are permanent but the most widely used type is the temporary business long stay visa which allows an individual to work legally in Australia for between three months and four years. If subsequently, a permanent visa is granted, the individual and all dependant family members will be allowed to live and work in Australia permanently and receive all the benefits of a naturalised Australian, including subsidised health care and social security benefits.
Finding a Job
Australia welcomes migrants with valuable skill sets and relevant qualifications, but be prepared for a challenge when looking to secure a job here. Don’t imagine that you can simply walk into a position, it rarely happens like that even for Australians but there are a number of things you can do to make your job search and application that bit easier. You can start by having a good look around the Australian job market via the job sites on the internet. This will show you what jobs are available in your particular field and also give you an insight into the various job specs. Make sure your application for a permanent residence visa is in. You will be asked about your residency status and having your visa, or at least being in the process of applying for one is a must. Send off your job applications in advance of coming over, but no more than 3 months prior to your move. Blanket canvas everyone. Apply to as many job sources, recruitment agencies and employers as you can find. You might not land your dream job straight away but it’ll get you a foot in the door. A good source of contacts for this is www.yellowpages.com.au. Look at how the Australians arrange their CV’s and copy their example. Submit your CV with a short covering letter stating that you have been passed eligible for a visa or that you have at least applied for one. If possible, provide an Australian postal address and phone number. This will make it easier and cheaper for potential employers to contact you. When your visa is approved, come to Australia in person, future employers like to meet job candidates face to face and will rarely, if ever employ someone without meeting them first. When attending an interview, have copies of your visas and references to hand. Employers will want to see them and may well take copies for their files and finally, as usual in any interview situation, make a positive first impression and be prepared to be flexible.
Equally, there are a number of things you should NOT do when looking for a job in Australia; Don’t attend job interviews more than 3 months ahead of when you would actually be able to start work. There is no point and employers may look upon this as a waste of their time. Also, don’t expect to be able to walk straight into a position. Be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow. Things will probably be done slightly differently in Australia, even if you are going for a “like for like” position. Don’t expect to go in to a company at the same level you were at back home. You will probably need to assimilate some local knowledge before getting fully up to speed. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back to ensure the proper advancement later. Don’t expect to be on the same salary package as you were at home. The cost of living is cheaper as is the income tax and don’t expect to land a job straight away.
Australia is on the look out for English speaking people with skills. They are currently involved in their biggest recruitment drive for 40 years and they are looking for people across a wide range of skill sets. They have a lot to offer too; a shorter working week (the UK’s is amongst the longest in the world), better weather and a lower cost of living.
Selected individuals are currently being offered a four year state sponsorship with the option to stay on permanently afterwards. The qualifying criteria are that you are under 45 years old and have 6-7 years experience in your trade.
If your occupation is among those listed in their skill shortages list and you qualify in age and experience, you stand a good chance of being awarded a visa. Some of the occupations or trades on the skill shortage list are builders, plumbers, mechanics, engineers, miners, painters, decorators, tilers and chefs. They are also on the look out for anyone in IT and the medical professions. This list is by no means comprehensive and there are lots more vacancies besides and assessments are free of charge to English applicants.
Setting up a business in Australia
Prior to setting up a business in Australia, do your research to determine whether there is a market for your business concept. Give yourself a thorough check up to see if you have what it takes to succeed. Check what licenses or permits are required to conduct your business, there are literally hundreds of them and you will be at fault if you do not have them in place. Make sure your business is a viable one. Set up cash flow analysis on spreadsheets and work out what your break even will be. Prepare future budgets and write a business plan. The more in depth your plan, the greater chance of success you’ll have. Review your finances and make a habit of doing this regularly. Consider your sources of finance, try to keep your capital in place and borrow sufficient funds at the right rates.
Decide upon the business structure, bear in mind that whilst a sole trader structure is the easiest to start, the owner, i.e. you, are liable for all the company’s debts. In a partnership situation, each of the partners is jointly liable. This encourages the partners to pool their resources in everything from buying stock to recruiting as it is in their collective interest to get it right. Setting up a limited company with any number of shareholders is more expensive in the short term but may well be worth doing since it protects the shareholders from any personal liability down the line. It is a good idea, if going down this route, to seek the professional advice of accountants and lawyers. One of the most common business set up practices in Australia is to buy a pre-existing, off the shelf company. You can also set up a trust, again, you will require legal assistance here.
Having decided on the type of business you want to set up and its structure. It is then necessary to look at its high street positioning, visibility and access arrangements If yours is a business that relies heavily on footfall traffic then a busy high street location is essential. Equally important might be the provision of parking for customers who visit by car.
If you are leasing your business property, ensure the lease is properly scrutinised by a qualified individual. A poor lease can lead to the failure of a business. Again seek professional advice here and make sure that there is sufficient provision in the lease to ensure that a) You have the time to make your business work and b) There are no restrictions to your essential business practices.
Check with the local council for any Health Department requirements or plans for roads or any other impingements that may impact on your business. Also check with your accountant and the tax office as certain by-laws affect business, particularly those run from home and if you run a business from your home you may be liable to capital gains tax.
Now comes the time to register your business. You only need to register your business if your business name is different to your own name. For example the name John and Sarah Smith does not need to be registered whereas the name J and S Garden Services does. This is because the name J and S Garden Services can be used for marketing purposes.
Under the headings of taxation and insurance, there are many laws. It is a complex area and varies wildly from business to business. The best broad stroke advice is to maintain accurate financial records and seek professional legal advice when approaching these topics. Insurance brokers will often provide a broad range of services to businesses and in many cases, a one-stop shop for all your insurance needs. Many of them will also negotiate on Monthly premiums.
If you are going to be employing staff in your business, be selective and informative at the interview and job offer stages. Make sure both you and your employee know what to expect and what will be expected of them. Provide a written job description before employees start work and make sure that they understand what is expected of them in the workplace. Ensure you know their rights as well as, if not better than they do. Ensure you obtain all the relevant information from Department of Productivity and Labour Relations and Department of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare regarding their hours, holidays, leave and superannuation entitlements and that you are up to speed with all the safety legislation. Do this and you will reduce the likelihood of any claim for unfair dismissal, should the applicant prove to be not up to the job or any claim against levels of pay and working conditions.
About Moving Partnership Limited
Moving Partnership Limited can help with all international removals to Australia so, whether you are looking to move to Australia on a temporary work visa, looking to emigrate to Australia with the family or relocating as a company, we can help with all aspect of your move.