Pathways to Employment Opportunities for Migrants in Australia

Migrating to a new country is usually a long tasking process due to various social and economic factors however, having access to the right kind of information makes it easier to settle in. Australia offers a very high standard of living, a stable economy and an above average lifestyle which is why it is a destination to consider for migration. It also has a working system that is specially designed to accommodate skilled migrants in priority fields such as engineering, health, accounting, IT etc.

While there are various employment opportunities in Australia, certain conditions must be met to access those opportunities. As a new migrant, one of the things to be aware of is the varying work culture and recruitment process in the country. Australian companies expect that job seekers already have local experience which makes getting a job difficult at first but once you get that first job, you automatically have unlimited access to available employment opportunities. In order to compensate for the lack of local experience, your resume needs to be engaging and well structured. Australia, particularly has a peculiar format for writing resumes and this must be followed. The details of your work experience and skills you have acquired from these experiences need to be succinctly stated for you to be considered for the job. Leave out unnecessary details like your date of birth, gender etc..

It is important to note that you cannot use one resume for different job types; your resume needs to address the needs of the job you are applying for. This was one of the mistakes I made when I first migrated to Australia and it took me a while to get my first job but I eventually learnt there is no universal resume. The employer only needs to know you can get the job done and you resume needs to reflect that in your absence.

Multicultural Working Communities

Australia is a multiculturally diverse country that is open to people from various nations. As such, it is highly probable that you will get a job to maintain a reasonable standard of living regardless of your religion, colour or nationality. The major difficulty you would experience as a migrant is the difference in the contextual use of English language. I once went for an interview and was asked, “Where are you from?” and I replied “Nigeria”. The interviewer was a little thrown off because she actually meant ‘where in Sydney(Australia) do I live?’ I have also interacted with other migrants who confirmed the same difficulty especially since English was their second Language. However, the system is pretty liberal since a significant number of the population are migrants, but a certain level of fluency is required to secure certain jobs that involve interacting with people like customer service jobs etc.

Gain Local Experience through Casual Jobs

When you first migrate to Australia, you may not immediately secure a full time or permanent job due to certification requirements for your skill, however, an easier way to sustain yourself and settle your bills would be to get casual or part time work. There are various economic sectors that require less certifications or provide on the job training some of which are the health care and labour sector. For casual work, you aren’t guaranteed a specific number of hours but you get called in to work as frequently as possible and you have the choice to accept or decline while for part time work, you are given specific hours and days when you work but it would be less than 38 hours a week. Getting a part time or casual work initiates you into the Australian work culture and give you the local experience you need. It also offers you the flexibility to focus on other things since you get to choose which days you want to work. Also noteworthy is the fact that Australia will commence a new standard minimum wage of $19.49 per hour from 1 July 2019. However, most jobs typically pay from $20 per hour upward.

Processes of securing Jobs in Australia

Securing a job in Australia is a relatively easy process with lots of casual jobs available. However, for whatever job you are applying to, your resume and cover letter needs to address the needs of the employer. There are various websites with lots of job vacancies and you can apply directly to the company through them. Some of them are listed below:
www.indeed.com.au
www.jora.com.au
www.seek.com.au
www.gumtree.com.au
There are also various recruitment agencies ready to assist you in securing a job. For most jobs, you would need local references, so the earlier you start interacting with people, the better chances you have.

Challenges and Racism

Australia has evolved over the years as a multicultural society and all forms of racism is generally frowned upon and punishable by law. However, it is not unusual to encounter subtle forms of racism at the work place or around but people are generally more likely to socially exclude you in order to avoid being accused of racist behaviour. You mostly have to break the ice to ease into having conversations, but you will occasionally meet people who are more than happy to interact with you. Apart from these little glitches, Australia has a very friendly environment that is welcoming to migrants from all parts of the world.

Migration Pathway for Employment in Australia

There are various migration pathways to be considered when migrating to Australia especially in relation to getting employed. Either ways, your profession has to be listed on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List(MLTSSL) or the Short Term Skilled Occupations List(STSOL). Independent Skilled Visa: This visa allows you to work and live in Australia permanently. It is officially known as the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List(MLTSSL). To qualify, your course of study or profession must be on the skilled list which you can look up on the immigration website. Your age must be below 45 years and you must meet certain character and health requirements before you submit an expression of interest. Some professions that qualify under this category include; engineering, information technology, social work, teaching accounting etc. The State Nominated Skilled Visa: This is also known as the Short Term Skilled Occupations List(STSOL). It has the same requirements as the independent skilled visa but a state in Australia has to nominate the applicant to be considered for this visa.

Student Visa as a Source for Employment

Australia is home to many international students especially major cities like Sydney and Melbourne and most of them remain in Australia after their studies to benefit from the many opportunities the country has to offer. The student’s visa is probably the easiest platform for migration and employment, but it is also the most expensive and the longest. If you choose to study a profession on the skilled list, for 2 years or more, you can apply directly for permanent residency and later get a job because of your local qualifications and visa status after your study. If your course isn’t on the skilled list, but you have studied for not less than 2 years, you can apply for a graduate work visa and get employed in your field of study. There are numerous pathways to migrating to Australia, you only need to get necessary information that addresses your situation to get you started.

This article is a guideline to employment and migration processes in Australia. To find out all the requirements and other information you will need, visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/

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