Overseas workers still need skills to work in Australia

Friday, August 28, 2015
Blog by Helen Duncan, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 0003187 at AMVL Migrations

There have been a significant number of news stories in the last few days relating to Andrew Robb’s announcement that as part of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the requirement for Chinese applicants to undergo mandatory skills assessment for ten trade occupations will be removed.

Many people have interpreted this as meaning that unskilled Chinese workers will be allowed into Australia.  This is not the case at all. All applicants for skilled visas have to demonstrate that they have the skills to perform the duties of their occupation.  In some cases this may mean a mandatory skills assessment and in other cases, the applicant just needs to demonstrate that they have done the necessary training in their home country to an Australian standard and have relevant work experience if required.

For the majority of applicants for subclass 457 visas, the latter is the norm – no mandatory skills assessment.  This means that electricians from Italy, carpenters from Ireland or motor mechanics from Peru, simply need to provide evidence of training and/or relevant work experience.  If the occupation is a licensed occupation, such as an electrician, the applicant has to demonstrate that would be eligible to be licensed after their arrival in Australia.

With the removal of China from the list of countries that require mandatory Skills Assessments for 457 visas, this will mean that only applicants from Brazil, Fiji, India, PNG, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe will still require a mandatory skills assessment for a limited number of occupations. The new arrangement with China simply brings the requirements for skilled workers in line with other developed countries and is not an attempt to bring in unskilled Chinese labour to steal jobs from Australians. 

Immigration requirements are very strict and it is not an easy process for companies to sponsor foreign workers.  It is a pity that people do not try and get the full story before getting on the band wagon.

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Queensland's Ekka

Thursday, August 20, 2015
Blog by Bea Rosales

One of the best ways to see what Queensland has to offer is by attending its largest annual event ‘The Royal Queensland Show’ or what Australians call the ‘Ekka’. This year we celebrated its 138th show from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 August 2015. 

The Ekka is known for bringing the country to the city and showcases everything from entertainment to agriculture. It celebrates the heart of Queenslanders from the rural and the urban; the traditional and the innovative, it proves that there is something for everyone. 

The rides cater for both the thrill-seekers and young families and leave you wanting to line up again and again. There are dodgem cars for those who are feeling a bit nostalgic, and of course a carnival must is the great ferris wheel. Once you reach its peak you’re given the best scenic view of the whole Brisbane Exhibition grounds.

The Ekka experience is not complete without splurging on the wide range of showbags.  There is a showbag for everyone from children to those who are still kids at heart; no one is left behind. Every year there’s an excitement and thrill when you walk through the aisles of booths of showbags. The sounds of voices saying, “I want that one”, “Actually this one,” show that prices don’t really matter. There are children jumping with joy around every corner when their parent hands them their own fun-filled showbag. Even the adults have a great time picking out a showbag for themselves because let’s face it, who wouldn’t enjoy a bag filled with products from their favourite fashion magazine or even a fitness showbag with necessities? 

Rides and showbags aside, there is a vast range of scrumptious food served at the Ekka. A typical Aussie order at the Ekka is a simple dagwood dog and bucket of fairy floss.  You get the chance to bring out your inner food critic and taste the gourmet food from our very own Queensland farmers. 

The Royal Queensland Show is a place jam-packed with world-class free entertainment for everyone in the family. Whether it’s the country shows such as pig racing, the glitz and glamour of Queensland couture, or even top charting artists; there is once again, something for everyone. To finish up your day there is always a spectacular fireworks display that light up the Brisbane sky. 

The Ekka is certainly one of the best ways to get a true Queensland experience, but don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself next year!

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Australian Adventure

Friday, August 14, 2015
Blog by Timothy Toh & Moon Kong at Kitson Migration Advisory

Last week I travelled to Australia with the rest of the Kitson Migration team to visit our Australian partners, AMVL Migrations, and explore South-East Queensland. We began the week at the Gold Coast, which was really warm in the day for an Australian winter. We found the nights in Gold Coast & Brisbane extremely cold so our bodies certainly weren’t acclimatized! We stayed at Gold Coast for 2 nights and Brisbane City for 3 nights. 

The AMVL team had arranged to join us on our sightseeing and it was great to have ‘locals’ to show us around. Gisela and Cassie joined us on the first day at Sea World and we had fun the whole day watching the sea creatures, the amazing dolphin show, seal, starfish, penguin feeding, the rides (Storm Coaster & Viking Flume) and the not-to-be-missed Jet Stunt Extreme! However I was a bit confused about the reaction many of the Australians had to the stingray pool. They seemed to think the stingrays were ‘cute’ and wanted to touch them. In Malaysia we eat them. The children around us didn’t seem to like that comment...

Once we left Seaworld we filled in time before dinner with a walk along the beach. Although it was freezing, we were amazed at the view in front of us. Waves and sand stretched as far as the eye could see! It was a really fun day and we wrapped it up with a satisfying dinner at the iconic Australian steakhouse, Ribs and Rumps. Big thanks again to Gisela and Cassie! We will always remember the joke of the day: ‘Ni Hao!’.

Per schedule, we headed to Movie World on the second day and we had Kara & Louisa there for all the thrill rides, namely Arkham Asylum, Superman Escape, Batwing Spaceshot and not to forget the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, which was Quen’s first and last ride of her life! And of course the Hollywood Stunt Driver show was absolutely breath-taking! We all grew up with the Looney Tunes characters so watching the parade of these characters was truly exciting. We then had a pleasant walk near the dock at Sanctuary Cove in the evening – a truly unique living experience. We finished the day off with a trip to the Australian Outback Spectacular show with Philip, Helen and Nick! Yeehaaaa!! 

On our first day in Brisbane, we travelled up north to visit Australia Zoo. We enjoyed the Crocodile show the most! Besides that, the girls really enjoyed their first up-close experiences with the Koala, Kangaroo and the short-legged marsupial Wombat. We took lots of photos and videos of the animals and learned about the native wildlife. Many thanks to Christel, Hamish and Thomas for spending a whole day walking with us at the zoo. 

We visited the AMVL office on the Friday and experienced how the Brisbane office operates, while checking in on our own work. We had lunch in view of the Story Bridge and walked near the river. In the evening we cruised across to South Bank in a City Cat and had dinner at The Ship Inn – a perfect dinner with the team on a chilly evening. 

Before heading to the airport on Saturday night we did some shopping at Westfield Chermside, which is one of the biggest shopping centres in Queensland. It was gratifying (which is to be expected with all the AUD spent!).

All in all we loved the time we spent in Australia and it was an experience we will never forget. We look forward to some of the AMVL staff hopefully visiting us in Malaysia soon!

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