Currently, Australia, like many other countries, is facing a critical labour and skills shortage in the mining and minerals processing industries.
Actually, on September 1 and 2 2022 (in less than 2 weeks), a national jobs skills summit will be held in the nation’s capital, Canberra.
This summit will look at propositions from more than 100 attendees from business groups, unions, civil societies, and government.
Basically, it is a summit to consider how to grow back the economy in Australia after COVID, how to improve the skills of the workforce, and create better opportunities for Australians.
So why does this impact you? All propositions from the summit that are accepted will be included in the October budget. And that will mean more opportunities for people like you! People with skills, looking to move to Australia and contribute to driving the mining industry forward!
It’s happening now people!
Why you should consider working in the mining industry in Australia
Mining has long been a cornerstone of the Australian economy and it is currently in the midst of another minerals boom. Did you know that the mining industry contributes about 75% of the country's exports? And it is a huge contributor to the workforce!
It is a well-established industry and has a strong focus on safety and environmental responsibility.
What kinds of jobs are available?
Skills that are in short supply for Australians are listed on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). They include (but not limited to):
- Electrical Engineer (233311)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (233611)
- Petroleum Engineer (233612)
- Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
The full list is found on https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/employing-and-sponsoring-someone/sponsoring-workers/pmsol
What are the benefits?
Working in Australia brings many benefits:
- Great economy
- Quality of life
- Numerous Visa options
- Personal safety
- Friendly and welcoming community to immigrants
What are the challenges?
It can be hard to get a visa into Australia at times. Australia has long been seen as the “lucky” country and many people have desired to emigrate. However, Australia has strict rules on allowing immigration and if you don’t fit the categories, it can be very challenging/impossible to gain entry.
That situation has just changed for most of you.
The cost of living in Australia is high. This is due to the fact that there is not a large difference in income of people. The salary for menial jobs (cleaner etc) is high. To give you an idea, the minimum wage in Australia is A$21.38 an hour.
Finally, English is the spoken language in Australia. You will need to have a reasonable level of English to be able to apply for jobs, communicate in the workplace should you get a job and pass you IELTS test for visa requirements.
Prepare for your IELTS test
So, what is IELTS?
It’s a language proficiency test. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to a country where English is the native language. To be eligible for a visa in Australia, you must achieve a minimum score to show that you can speak English well enough for the job.
Each job will have a different required IELTS score and you must find out the score needed for YOUR situation. Let me know if you need me to help guide you to do that!
How to prepare for IELTS?
IELTS assesses your English proficiency on a scale from 1–9 in four skills: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. There are many requirements/skills that will be tested within this framework. It can be challenging to understand the way it is marked and what you need to deliver to get a good score.
But once you understand the scoring system, then you can start to prepare to improve those skills!
You can find out more about the IELTS test, the scoring system and get relevant tips to improve your marks by taking my free online self study course here:
Boost your CV and interview skills, before you leave home!
A job interview is your opportunity to highlight your strengths and show an employer why you are the best candidate for the position where you are applying.
As a non-resident of Australia, the company will need to hold a visa for you and this brings additional paperwork and cost. To really stand out as an international candidate, your skills need to be STRONG.
While you will likely be discussing your experience and technical skills during the interview, your interviewing skills will also highlight your soft skills (including communication skills!).
This means it is critical to ensure you maximize your interviewing skills – in English!
How do you want to come to Australia? A holiday/work visa? A TSS? – if you’re lucky – a permanent residency?
What are the choices? There are numerous visas to consider, but here are the main work choices that would affect you.
A holiday/work visa
There are many choices for visiting of self-applying for work visas in Australia and I will not cover them all here. You may find further information here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia
A TSS visa Subclass 482
Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482) allows an employer to sponsor a suitably skilled worker to fill a position they can’t find a suitably skilled Australian to fill.
This is the main visa type I have discussed in this article.
There are two types of TSS visas:
- The short term stream (2 years usually)
- The medium term stream (up to 4 years - your occupation is on either the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL))
You may bring families with you to Australia on this visa.
More details can be found at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/temporary-skill-shortage-482
Reach out to me if you need any help understanding these visa pathways. I am not an immigration specialist! But I can help with the English.
Some permanent work visas are also available, sometimes with sponsorship, sometimes without. Again, this is beyond the scope of this article and you can find more information at: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/permanent-work-visas
Start looking for your job in the mining industry
So maybe you have decided to consider working in Australia. Awesome. What to do next?
Find a job!
The biggest job hunting platform in Australia is Seek.
You can create an account and register for job updates according to your search criteria. Then you will get an email every day updating you of the jobs that matched your search terms. This is handy if you don’t want to miss out on any opportunity that may come up!
Note – not all companies can sponsor a TSS visa. Do check the details of the job description to look for the comment that you must be eligible for work in Australia to indicate if the company cannot sponsor a visa for you.
There may also be a comment asking you to describe your working rights in Australia. Apply for these ones as they don’t indicate whether they can or cannot sponsor a visa, they are just asking you what YOUR rights to work in Australia are.
Why might they ask this? It is a condition of getting a TSS visa that they have no eligible Australian candidates available. They legally have to consider candidates with Australian working rights BEFORE considering international applications.
Don’t be put off. It can take some time – but I have seen people achieve this with my own eyes, even when they thought they had NO hope.
Perseverance and upskilling here is key.
Secure the position and congratulate yourself!
What will it look like to tell people you work in Australia as a mining industry professional?
You got this!