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Australia Offers Visa Opportunities for Social Workers

Being listed as a skill for which there is a big demand but a shortage of talent in the labour market, Australia is offering visas to qualifying Social Workers from all over the world.

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Besides working for the Australian department of health and social welfare social workers are also employed by schools, hospitals, universities and even some large employers are all employing social workers to improve in student / employee wellness. 

While the demand keeps growing not enough local talent is available to meet demand and as such Social Workers are listed as a scarce skill on Australia’s Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List.  Occupations listed on this list qualify for Australian work visas through the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program.

Qualifications

Applicants that are likely to be successful at their visa application have a formal recognizable qualification such as a degree from a reputable South African University, have proof of their English language competency, be younger than 45 and have relevant experience.

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Qualification Assessment

Social work is not currently a registered profession in Australia.  Most employers of social workers in Australia require evidence of eligibility for membership of the AASW. As an overseas-educated social worker, you will need to apply to the AASW for a qualification assessment for employment purposes.

Prospects

In Australia the number of people working as Social Workers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years.  While there are currently around 32,900 job openings in the field this number is expected to grow to 35,500 by 2023. As a result unemployment is scarce among Social Workers.

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Employment Opportunities

Social workers work in a wide range of public and private settings including community health centres, and public and private hospitals, aged care facilities, education facilities, mental health settings; alcohol and drug services, private clinics and non-government organisations, refugee facilities, correctional institutions, universities and research facilities, group homes, supported employment and government departments.

Earning potential

Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around AUD $1,829 per week (very high compared to the average of AUD $1,460).

Paperwork

The visa application process can be rather complicated and cumbersome, it is in the applicant’s best interest to seek a consult with an experienced immigration professional.  Immigration professionals have access to Australia’s most up to date immigration requirements.  Their experience also means that the applicant is much more likely to succeed in their application.

 

 

Source: joboutlook.gov.au, Allied Health Professionals Australia

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