Emigrating to Melbourne, Australia, can be very exciting for the whole family. The laid-back Australian lifestyle, familiar language and culture, and large British expat community make it easy to settle in from the outset.
There are a lot of considerations to make when planning the move, such as accommodation, education, childcare and transportation. Workers relocating on a foreign assignment, whether temporary or permanent, may already have some of these factors covered by their employer’s relocation package.
One of the biggest concerns with any long-distance relocation is how partners and children will adjust to life in Australia. Children generally find it easier and have more opportunities to socialise with other children, through school, playgroups, nurseries and social activities. It can be harder for the partner, particularly if they are giving up a job in the UK to relocate and have concerns about how they will continue their own career Down Under.
If there is a definite relocation date fixed, it’s advisable to start looking for work in advance of the move, up to three months before – any potential employer is unlikely to wait longer than that to conduct interviews (though some are happy to offer video interviews for the right candidates) or offer a start date. Jobs in Melbourne can be competitive, with both nationals and expats from around the world in the jobs market.
Websites such as SEEK or Adzuna are popular Australian job search portals, which list current vacancies and requirements. These are good for getting a general overview of the job situation and demand in certain sectors. Often there are more jobs available in rural Australia than the urban centres, which is why Melbourne can prove more difficult for finding work.
Joining relevant industry associations can also be a positive step forward. This helps with networking, even while still based in the UK, and getting to know the industry as it stands in Australia, as well as researching the best companies to approach.
It’s also worth researching whether relevant UK-gained qualifications and licences are still valid in Australia, or whether any further training or certification will be required before finding a role. In general, most British accreditations are transferable.
Partners and children are usually covered by the main working visa, so there is no requirement for a partner to have a job lined up in advance. Many families move first and allow time to settle in before exploring the local job market.
In some ways this can be easier, as there is time to network, explore different working options, get used to a new daily routine and be able to attend interviews easily in person.
Recruitment agencies can be a useful way of finding work once relocated, as are advertisements in local newspapers. Having already moved to Australia with family, interested employers can be more confident in a candidate’s commitment to the country as well as being eligible to work, which can make it easier to land a job.
Certain skilled occupations are in demand in Australia. A current and up-to-date list is maintained on the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection Website. Even if a visa is already sorted and proof of a particular skill is not required as a condition of entry to the country, this list is a useful port of call for seeing what kinds of industries are worth considering when looking for a job.
At the moment, the list includes nurses, medical positons, childcare managers, architects, engineers, teachers and special needs teachers, analysts, programmers and social workers among others.
Information correct at the time of publication.