Work in Oz

Oz’s labour force has approximately 10 million people; three-fourths of the employed are full-time workers. Unless you have a firm job offer, special qualifications and experience and there is great demand for a particular specialty, you should not plan on working in Oz immediately. To get a good job, you must speak English fluently, and be well qualified.

It is better to get the latest up-to-date information on the job market before moving into the country. Try to secure a position before your arrival. Most states publish data on current job prospects, however, sometime official counts lag behind the real situation.

Also, when leaving a job in Oz, you should ask for a written reference (they are not provided automatically), particularly if you intend to look for further work in Oz or you think your work experience will help you to obtain employment overseas.

Part-time Employment: The official definition of this category is working for a maximum of 20 hours per week and usually paid on an hourly basis. They do not have the same rights as full-time workers and pay awards normally have provisions to protect such workers’ rights. They do not receive certain benefits such as annual leave, sick pay, maternity leave or other entitlements enjoyed by full-time workers. However, the balance is being redressed in various industries. Nearly 25% of the job market is included in this category, with most such jobs concentrated in the tourism and hospitality industries.

Part-time jobs in Oz are most common in offices, pubs, shops, factories, cafés and restaurants. They are available in most industries and professions in Oz. In the last few years the number of part-time workers in Oz has risen considerably, particularly among women. Part-time jobs apply to all levels (from executives to clerks) and all businesses. Many turn to part-time work for lifestyle, health or family reasons. Job satisfaction is generally higher among part-time workers than those in full-time employment (Do you think you would be happier working fewer hours.

Temporary Employment: This includes employment lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few months. Eighteen per cent of employees define themselves as temporary workers; most of them are tourists holding the appropriate visa, which permits them to work for a maximum of three months. Temporary work is easiest to find on the farms scattered over many areas of Oz. Many students supplement their income by working in the tourism industry during the summer.

Contract Jobs: Contract or freelance jobs are available through specialist employment agencies in Oz. Contracts are usually sometimes open-ended, are for a fixed period and full-time. There is a thin dividing line between contract and temporary jobs that are often one and the same. In recent years, many companies have been shifting from full-time employees to contract workers and contracting out jobs such as cleaning, building maintenance, catering, construction work, computer installation and even parts of the manufacturing process.
Many contract positions are for specialists, in fields such as accounting, computing, engineering, electronics and mining. There is also a strong market in providing cleaning, catering and maintenance services. Contractors may work at home or on a client or contract company’s premises. Consultant companies (also called body shops) specialize in supplying contract staff to major companies.

Permanent Employment: Working permanently in Oz requires fluent English. If you are not fluent in English, you are required to take and pass an English test and the Occupational English Exam. The percentage of failure is very high on this exam, so studying is very important. Ozn standards in certain professions and trades are very high. Even if you have great qualifications in your home country, you may be given a test to pass in your profession or trade.

Finding Ozzie Jobs: There are several ways to find permanent work, whether through agencies or by independently sending out your résumé. The agencies receive a fee from the employer and you can find most of them in your local Yellow Pages. There are also the traditional ways, such as searching through newspapers, with the Saturday edition being the most comprehensive. Local papers are often more useful when looking for work.

Other suggestions: personal connections, advertising, and approaching potential employers personally.

Résumés and Interviews: Almost every job requires a résumé at least three pages long, including a cover letter. You can find résumé writing tips through the search engines mentioned above. You should dress appropriately for a job interview and be ready to answer any question. You will usually need to provide documents in English proving your abilities.

Government Employments Services Ozn citizens can receive help from a government body called CenterLink (www.centrelink.gov.au) You need to go through a short registration process. It provides help in finding work and training. New immigrants are able to take advantage of their services only after two years have passed. Other government agency is Employment National which is Oz’s biggest recruitment solutions provider (www.employmentnational.com.au)