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  • work in australia

    construction work?

    I'm an Aussie, who's just about to move back home after three years in Europe. I'm bringing my English boyfriend with me, and we plan to travel Aus, NZ and south-east Asia. He will initially enter on a tourist visa (ETA), and we'll travel until the money runs out. He'll then apply for a WHV fromo NZ or Thailand, but I'm wondering what sort of work he can expect to pick up.
    He's done a lot of construction work in the UK, a lot of experience in different aspects of construction. Can he expect to find some decent work in this industry? Location within Australia is not important, I have family in Melbourne and Darwin, but we are open to opportunity when it comes to where to live. What sort of time committments would he need to make? And what sort of money would he be looking at? Lastly, are there any qualifications/documents etc that he would need to get a job in this industry in Australia?

    Oh lord... just wait until philip007 gets a hold on your post!!! Have a read of his negative undertones here - but seriously, the post will be of interest and probably quite entertaining too.

    Basically, with the housing market the way it is, the economy and swine flu we're all going to die - it's the aporkalypse! LOL. No, I think your boyfriend is probably going to find it hard to find work (just ask phil!) unless you guys move where there's work for him. I expect that construction work is going to be in a downturn in a lot of countries unfortunately - I don't know what it's like here in the UK, but I expect there's been a downturn given no-one can buy houses!

    Having said that, I will return to trying to help you guys rather than focus on the negatives... So, I think for construction Darwin might be a good bet over Melbourne, particularly if you have family there (Darwin to escape recession) as it will keep it cheap if you can stay with them and they can help you get setup. Homes have only just begun to fall in value and as a "frontier city" (as I like to call it!) there's quite a bit of construction planned there (see here, here, here, here, here as an example). I've read about three or four other major construction works that have been planned - however I can't comment on how easy it is to get this work in Darwin or what the demand is for builders. Have a google and do some hunting around...

    I wouldn't advise travelling until your money runs out, in fact I would plan your move the other way around even - get a job and travel when you're settled and have a steady cash flow. Also I don't know if you can apply for a WHV outside your country of residence - check the Immigration site.

    I believe you need a "blue card" in Australia to work in construction, it's some form of qualification that permits you to work on a site. I believe they're different (?) for each state and territory.

    I would offer the same advice for you and your boyfriend that I did in the above thread, think about doing a night class or something to give you some backup if finding work in your chosen area and region of Australia is proving difficult - better to have a backup than have to return to the UK with no money.

    You can apply for a WHV from anywhere - other than within Australia. If you have been travelling in certain countries (most of Asia qualifies) you will be asked to have a chest x-ray at a government approved doctor. That will cost money, and time delay in being granted. It's to check about TB which is endemic in many countries.

    And don't bank on being allowed to enrol in "night classes" unless you have a student visa and a lot of money to pay fees.

    I'm a plumber in Melbourne and I agree with the above answer; construction activity has definitely slowed here though both federal and State Govts are trying to keep the industry going by announcing new, major projects. But they are while off.
    If your boyfriend is a time-served ie completed an apprenticeship as a carpenter,bricklayer or tiler or has a formal qualification in a trade then he may find it easier to get a job; probably not so easy for a labourer.
    The "Blue Card " is actually "Red" in Victoria and is an induction course including basic worksite safety and First Aid. It is sometimes offered by employers but is usually completed by the employee in his own time and expense. It is mandatory to have one to work on large building sites.

    I think the Northern Territory option will be a better short term one as it seems that there is a bit going on. As other posters have pointed out down south is a bit harder to get in unless of course you know someone who knows someone etc .

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

    Here in Newcastle work on the third coal loader is continuing apace. The 'blue card' that Scaryant mentioned is in fact an OH&S construction certificate; all workers on construction sites (including myself) have to have one and you won't get on to a site without one. You can do them on line, I did mine at which is the qualification in QLD, here in NSW it's called a green card but no matter where you do them you are covered for most of Australia (except WA I believe).

    And construction doesn't just cover the domestic market, there is alot of industrial construction happening all over Australia. The best thing to do is to scan the newspapers and see where the major construction is going to happen. No good coming in after the construction starts, usually by then the contractors have already got their staffing organised. Some of the big construction companies are Abigroup, Thiess Process, WorleyParsons, Laing O'Rourke. There are others, just can't think of them right now. Of course, different companies specialise in different areas of construction too, so it's best to do your homework. You will be looking at different companies for structural than you would for civil/earthworks or rail, for instance. Just thinking of some of the subs working for us at present: Avopiling, Alorra, RIG, Daracon, Whitten Brothers, ASC (have no idea who they are).

    Note to Self: Engage brain BEFORE putting mouth in gear ...

    The OH and S cards that are valid for Victoria also work for NSW and Queensland but nor for WA or SA not sure for the territory but I am sure they will have something. John Holland is another company worth having a look at. The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

    OP's boyfriend has done a lot of construction work in the UK, a lot of experience in different aspects of construction which I take to read as Jack of all trades, Master of none. Could be wrong of course. "The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat."

    WA also has a blue card now, but like the others can be done online. It's not particularly challenging - mostly fairly sensible and commonsense stuff - if you are accustomed to safety inductions and the like you shouldn't find it too hard. On the other hand for people not familiar with working construction it may be worth doing the full course (1/2 or 1 day depending where you go) rather than the online version.

    Yes ... I would look in Northern Australia, particularly Darwin, or even Alice Springs, or one of the other major centres - Mackay, Townsville, etc.


    but does he know how hot it gets there

    gday talk to me on skpe skpe usearname bazzathebushman

    Only mad dogs and englisman stay out in the midday sun baz. Lot of the constructions sites up there work under sail shades. The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.

    "And don't bank on being allowed to enrol in "night classes" unless you have a student visa and a lot of money to pay fees."

    As per my previous post in the other thread I meant before the OP leaves the UK, not whilst in Australia.

    Oz - Darwin & About > FAQ #175-177

    Apparently there is a bit of construction work in Melbourne because of the recent fires