The majority of UK graduates who work in Australia will do so on a temporary basis while travelling, under the Working Holiday visa scheme.
For professional and permanent employment, you will need to apply through the competitive General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme via SkillSelect. This scheme gives priority to people who have skills, qualifications and experience, and applicants are awarded points depending on how in-demand the job is.
It may be possible for a UK/EU graduate working for an international company to work in its Australian branch for a period of time.
Typical problems encountered: qualifying for a visa to work in Australia, restrictions on the type of work you can undertake on particular visas, unemployment due to the global economic crisis which increases competition for jobs.
How to improve your chances: consider undertaking a professional qualification or gaining a few years' work experience that would qualify you as a skilled migrant through the GSM scheme, be flexible with your location as there may be more vacancies and less competition in regional areas.
Language requirements: the main language is English and you may have difficulty securing skilled work unless you speak it fluently.
Where can I work?
Major industries: agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacture.
Major companies: National Australia Bank, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Telstra Corporation, Wesfarmers, Woolworths, AMP Ltd, Macquarie Group, Suncorp Group, Qantas Airways, Woodside Petroleum, Westfield Group, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Group, Coles Myer.
Major cities: Sydney (largest), Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra (capital), Darwin.
What's it like working in Australia?
Average working hours: the maximum working week is 38 hours per week, generally Monday to Friday. Hours worked above the standard working week are paid at overtime rates.
Holidays: all permanent employees in Australia are entitled to four weeks' paid annual leave per year and ten days paid personal/carer's leave.
Tax rates: as a non-resident, you will pay considerably higher tax contributions than Australian residents. During 2011-12, non-residents were taxed at a rate of 29c in every dollar earned up to A$37,000, with increasing tax rates for earnings above A$37,000. For more details on tax issues, visit Australian Taxation Office.
Working practices and customs: Australians are generally laid back and casual in social situations. In business contexts they value punctuality, professionalism, directness and brevity. Business attire and handshake greetings are expected in most workplaces.
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