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Australia - Qualifications and Training

In the past those who wanted to move to Australia could consult the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). This list is no longer in existence in its previous form apart from to those who had already applied for a subclass 485 skilled graduate visa. If you made this application prior to the 8th February 2010 then the list of occupations in demand included accountants, engineers, medical professionals, architects, IT professionals and psychiatrists.

The MODL list is no longer used for calculating eligibility for a visa. Those who are making fresh applications need to consult the skilled occupation list. This list of occupations which are in demand is very similar to that which appeared on the former MODL list. This list is to be altered on the 1st July 2011 with the introduction of a points test which is still under review. Updated information will be available on the website of the immigration department.

There are a number of organisations and departments which can help you to determine if your qualifications would be acceptable in Australia although some specialise in the type of qualifications that they assess. For example, AEI-NOOSR is part of the Australian Education International organisation. They are an information service for those who are moving from overseas with foreign qualifications but do not assess on trade qualifications, merely academic ones. They do charge a fee for carrying out an assessment for you. These can take several months to complete, but this will depend upon how complex your qualifications are. These assessments are compared only by level, not by subject. The assessment will not give you entry into a university and you will not automatically qualify for professional memberships. You would need to contact the professional organisation concerned and make your own enquiries. If you have not yet finished a course this cannot be assessed.

You will find that there are also different requirements in each state depending upon where you want to work. If you wish to work in the teaching profession for example, you will find that different states may accept different levels of qualifications and previous work experience. Most states require that teachers are registered before they apply for a teaching position but being registered is not guarantee of work. The AEI-NOOSR will carry out an assessment of your qualifications and will assess your suitability for the type of teaching work that you want to do. There are a number of criteria that you must meet including the English language requirement and a minimum level of academic achievement.

In addition to this prospective teacher must provide evidence from their local education authority in their home country that will confirm your qualifications and experience. For UK expats this means providing evidence of Qualified Teacher Status. The minimum requirements for teaching in Australia include the equivalent of the Australian Bachelor Degree, equivalent study time to the four year degree course in Australia and at least one year of professional teaching studies. For the UK expats this is the PGCE course or equivalent. A minimum of 6 weeks teaching practice while supervised or a year of teaching experienced if the supervised requirement cannot be met.

For trades such as electricians and plumbers it is often the case that the only qualifications that are accepted are those which have been issued in Australia or New Zealand. If this is the case then you need to go to Trades Recognition Australia. You can undergo an assessment and be issued with an Australian Recognised Trade Certificate. This is not enough for you to be able to work in your chosen profession though. This simply recognises that you are a qualified tradesperson. You may still need to apply for a licence to work in your state and some professions will require you to take a test before you are able to work.

There are a number of websites where you can search for professional bodies for your particular trade or profession. Each one will be able to advise you if your qualifications can be accepted in Australia. If not then they can point you in the right direction for retraining or conversion courses as needed. Any fees that are applicable are the responsibility of the person applying and it is unlikely that you can receive help with this.

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