Relocating to Australia as a Social Worker or Allied Health Professional

There’s no doubt that moving to Australia is high on the list for many travellers – and it’s easy to see why. From the beauty of its natural wonders, captivating wildlife and cosmopolitan cities to the pristine beaches and hospitable people, Australia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. If you’re a qualified Social Worker with solid experience under your belt, relocating to Australia is a great option to consider. Expats from the UK, Ireland and Canada – not to mention our neighbours in New Zealand – are all benefiting from the various opportunities Australia has to offer.

Before booking your plane ticket, however, it’s vital to give the move plenty of thought and preparation. Tradewind Australia has helped countless international Social Workers and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) into new roles here in Melbourne – a city offering an exciting mix of style, sport, culture and dining. Even some of our own recruitment consultants have made the move themselves from the UK!

To help make your move Down Under a seamless journey, here are some of the essentials!

Applying for Australian Visas

If you’ve thought about relocating to Australia, before doing anything else, you’ll need a visa. The type of visa depends on individual circumstances and how long you plan on living here, but three of the common visa routes are:

Working Holiday Visa (WHV)

The Working Holiday Visa or WHV is typically the easiest option for those looking to test the waters. This visa allows people under 31 years of age (or under 36 years old if from Ireland or Canada), to work whilst living in Australia for 12 months. You can apply online, with processing times taking about two to four weeks.

Skilled Migration Visas

The skilled migration visas allow skilled people to live and work in Australia indefinitely, the ideal route if you’re considering a longer-term move. There is a points test involved in order to qualify, although due to the demand for Social Workers in Australia, either of the TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visas are a great option. These offer more freedom, whether you want to work in a locum, contract or permanent capacity.

Sponsorship

Anyone that has the required qualifications (Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, Psychology or equivalent) plus two years’ experience in Child Protection, can apply for roles and potentially get sponsored. The application process is quite extensive and can take up to 12 months, however, successful applications will be sponsored with a TSS visa for 2-4 years. Moreover, securing a role with the government will see them reimburse some of the costs involved with moving to Australia through a relocation package.

The greatest advantage is that you have a guaranteed job before you land, with a wide range of locations to choose from across Victoria, Metro or Rural Areas!

Our best advice is to speak with an immigration specialist to see which avenue is best for your circumstances. They can also assist you with the visa application process and help iron out any hurdles. We’ve partnered with a migration agent to help support our Social Workers and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) with all their relocation needs – for more advice on your visa situation, get in touch with them here.

What Work is Available Here?

There is an array of Social Worker jobs available from $32/hour, spanning family services, child protection and mental health to name a few. The main requirements are a relevant Bachelor’s degree and at least one years’ experience in a relevant or similar role. Opportunities are also abound for Allied Health professionals (starting from $45/hour) and hospital social workers. The requirements for this are the same, but in addition, you would need either an AASW eligibility assessment or AHPRA registration to perform clinical roles in Australia. This extra requirement can take months to come through, so we would advise carrying this out before you arrive.

Whether you’re looking to help fund your travels with a temporary role or aiming to make a more permanent move, the market can cater to your personal needs. As a specialist recruitment agency, Tradewind Australia is on hand to support you with your job search when moving Down Under.

Get Support from Tradewind Australia

The key to a successful move here is to get in touch with a recruiter as soon as possible – don’t wait until you’ve landed! We can help you prepare the documents you’ll need, such as police checks and references, as well as talk you through the process. If you’re taking the sponsorship route, it’s best to contact us even earlier. As mentioned above, the application process for this route is a protracted one, often requiring planning 12 months in advance.

Some of us have done the move ourselves, so once you’ve hit our shores, we’re on hand to offer some general advice in regard to settling into Australian life, from pointing you in the right direction for bank accounts and accommodation to providing tips on where to go to enjoy the fabulous Aussie lifestyle.

Naturally, a lot of our international Social Workers are nervous about relocating to Australia, but rest assured you won’t be isolated. There are so many others who have been through the transition already and can offer an added support base. In fact, we can also put you in touch with fellow Social Workers and help organise local meetups – everyone is open to meeting new people over here, especially as many have been in the same position themselves!

Summary

If beaches, BBQs, great people and lots of sunshine sounds like you, then a move to Australia might be the answer. Our doors are open for you to either travel, gain some overseas work experience, or settle permanently. With so many options available to Social Workers and Allied Health Professionals, why wouldn’t you move to Australia! If you’re looking for support with your Social Work job search in Australia, whether that’s locum, contract or permanent, get in touch with us.


About the Authors

Charlotte Higgs – Child and Family Services Consultant

With a focus on Child and Family Services, Charlotte specialises in case management positions but also recruits for Senior Case Managers and Team Leaders for not-for-profit organisations, mostly within general Family Services Programs, Out of Home Care Programs or Family Violence Programs.

Chloe Shale – Child Protection Consultant

In her role, Chloe recruits Child Protection Social Workers who need sponsorship. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work (or a related discipline) and a couple years of experience under your belt, then this route is a great way to secure a job before you even land in the country.

Danni Arthur – Allied Health and Hospital Consultant

With a lot of the candidates Danni works with coming over on WHVs or PR Visas, she supports AHPs in both community and hospital-based roles. Whether you’re looking for short-term assignments to sustain you whilst travelling, or you’re looking for permanent role, she can provide a range of opportunities.




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