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Advice for Teaching is Aus

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by nicola_a_apps, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. nicola_a_apps

    nicola_a_apps New commenter

    I am a History teacher at a secondary school in the UK but have been dreaming about teaching in Australia ever since I worked at an Australian boarding school in 2017.
    I have been a qualified teacher for two years now and am getting increasingly itchy feet to go and teach in Australia. My plan is to apply for jobs in August but in the run up spend any spare time I have doing research into visas, teaching opportunities, living standards etc.
    I want to be well prepared, but it's tricky to know where to start! So I would like some advice. Has anyone moved abroad recently to teach, specifically Australia? What did you have to do to ensure that you were able to emigrate there and get a job? Were there any unexpected challenges thrown your way? Do I need to take some sort of test to analyse my teaching and English skills? Should I apply for visas and then jobs or jobs first?
    So many questions! Any answers would be hugely appreciated :)
  2. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Don't spend a single penny before properly assessing your options. Unless you are willing to teach in an extremely remote area you have close to 0% chance. Visa rules have changed a lot in the past few years. It used to be that you applied and as long as you had a skills assessment and degree you just waited a few months for an invite. Now there are people with PHDs and 20 years experience who still don't have enough to get in.

    The only thing you have going for you is that you have worked in Australia before. If you worked more than 5 years you might have a sliver of hope. Also, if you gained your degree at an Australian university you will also have a better chance.

    Check out the points calculator here.


    Ignore anything that says you need 65 points to be eligible. No one on less than 85 points is getting an invite presently. If you get 85 points on the calculator then it do it, otherwise you will end up throwing money away on nothing.

    Forget the idea of school sponsorship. It's never going to happen for a history teacher. You will have to get your visa, move over without a job and start applying when you arrive.

    EDIT: Just realised you have 2 year's teaching experience. You have no chance. Sorry
  3. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    I agree with what T0nyGT has said.

    You got a taste working in the private school system for which you've got - 1% chance getting a job in, the same goes for both catholic or public school systems in locations that will give you the social media posts.

    Living standards? How do you not know this if you worked and lived there before? Reality....You'd be broke for being unemployed and paying high rent.

    Applying in August? A few weeks into term 3? Where schools have permanent teachers who don't (ever) leave their posts and whose casual/supply teaching staff have been set since January....

    Option 1. Marry an Australian.
    Option 2: Devote 3-4 years and try to emigrate with £100k to support you whilst you job hunt for casual/supply positions.
    Option 3: Realise the reality and pick another destination.
    T0nyGT likes this.
  4. amariB

    amariB New commenter

    Unfortunately, even marrying an Australian won’t really help you! I am married to one. Still a very long and expensive process to get a spouse visa and no guarantee of a job at the end of it so all that time and money could be for nothing.

    I work with many Aussies who went overseas as they couldn’t get a full-time / permanent job in Aus. Even casual work is hard to find as schools have their preferred teachers lined up already. Unless you are willing to go very remote then I wouldn’t get your hopes up I’m afraid...
  5. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    The other thing to consider is that, with the independent visa route, all jobs are lumped in together. So even if you did apply and there was a teacher shortage (which there isn't) you would be in a very long queue behind thousands of extremely qualified Indian IT techs. You can actually look at the invite stats online. I don't think a single teacher has been invited to apply for a visa for at least the last 9 months.

    Have you ever watched the BBC show Wanted Down Under? Notice how they don't make Australia episodes anymore. Yeah, that's why.

    I think you have more chance getting a job on the moon.
  6. Aim4Jannah

    Aim4Jannah New commenter

    Hello Nicola
    Do you know what State you want to work in? Each State has different regulations and application process. Did you want to work city, semi-rural or rural? You increases your chances of finding work if you go rural but working rural is tough! Our Australian climate is harsh and we are currently going through tough droughts.

    Overall though, Australia does not have a short supply of teachers and therefore finding a job will be very competitive.
  7. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    Is it teaching in Australia you want to do, or just living there? As far as I understand the independent visas on offer, all the different occupations get lumped together, which means that whether or not your occupation is in demand doesn't make a great deal of difference on whether your application is successful or not. It all seems to be down to whether or not you make the required points (and luck).

    If you are successful in applying for a visa, then there is not obligation for you to stick with occupation you put on application once you're in the country, you could do whatever you like. I think making an expression of interest for a visa is free, you only incur fees once you actually start the application process after receiving an invitation. So I think you could make an expression of interest just to see if you get an invitation to apply. And if you do get an invitation, then you would just have to bear in mind that if you move to Australia then teaching is more competitive than in the UK and you might have to do something else when you go out there, if you're open to that?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2020
  8. nicola_a_apps

    nicola_a_apps New commenter

    Hi everyone, thank you for all your replies, I'm surprised I got so many in such a short space of time!
    However, I feel I made an error in my original posting. I think I made my desire to move to Aus sound frivolous, as if it was something I just fancied doing. I won't write an essay explaining why this is not so, but let me assure you that this is something I'm taking very seriously, and not something I merely daydream about while standing in the rain on break duty.
    Despite saying that, it was eye opening to hear how competitive working in Aus actually is. I worked in Mackay, QLD and whilst there had interviews at two schools when I hadn't even applied for a job! Perhaps it was the location, or luck, or their desire to hear an English accent, but it made me confident in securing work. I also got some great advice from the head of recruitment at one of the schools, such as when to apply for jobs. I guess the Aussie-confidence of 'she'll be right' rubbed off on me.
    However, it's still hopeful to hear that there are options for me. Thanks to Jannah for highlighting the possibility of teaching rural - I've already begun some research. It sounds incredibly challenging, but would be a unique experience. Josh East's comment about maybe looking for other work also sounds tempting and perhaps the best option if there is no work to be found.
    I just want to end this post and thread with something my great uncle, shortly after he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, said to me a couple of years ago. He asked me if I still wanted to move to Australia. I said yes, his reply was: "Take my advice: go." And I think a dying man, looking back on his life, would give the best advice. Even if I try and fail, or go, hate it and run back home, at least I tried. It is better than spending the rest of my life wondering 'what if'.
    So thank you again for the advice and thoughts, it's given me plenty to consider and things to work on, which is a start x
  9. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    Mackay, Qld....It's certainly the location and not the English accent..

    If places like that attract you then you'll certainly fulfill your uncle's advice.

    Best of luck.
    nicola_a_apps likes this.
  10. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    If you're willing to go regional then I would recommend you start with contacting schools then, rather than looking at visas, as the school's willingness to sponsor you will dictate whether you can actually go. You would probably need to find a school who are willing to sponsor you on a 494 visa. This is the new regional visa which would allow you to stay for 5 years in which time you can transfer to a permanent visa (but not until you've done 3 years in the job during which time you will not be eligible for public health care). A prerequisite for this visa is that you have a minimum of 3 year's full time teaching. After you have 3 years of full time teaching you will need to apply to the AITSL and have your experience recognised. There is no way around this - you cannot start the visa process until this is done.

    So if you are willing to wait a bit then you can give this a go. There is still very little chance you will get a school to sponsor you. So you're counting on a school being willing to pay money and go through a very complex process to hire you. The question is why would they do that and not just employ someone locally?
  11. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    As for moving over and doing something else before moving in to teaching - that isn't going to be an option. Not a "oh, but I'm really determined", but a "it's not possible at all". You aren't qualified to get an independent visa and so a sponsored visa is your only option. And your only option with sponsorship is a school as that's your profession.

    I admire your determination and stiff-upper-lip, but this isn't going to change the fact that you are almost certainly aren't going to get a job in Australia as a teacher. You've missed the boat by about 5 years. It used to be easy for teachers but not any more. The international circuit is full of Australian teachers simply because they cannot get jobs. A school therefore isn't going to pay to ship you over from the UK to teach a ten-a-penny subject.
  12. nicola_a_apps

    nicola_a_apps New commenter

  13. nicola_a_apps

    nicola_a_apps New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again for the advice, quick update. Turns out rural education is in dire need for new teachers. After inquiring an advertisement online I've been offered a job at Charters Towers School of Distance Education in Queensland. The Department of Education have offered me a 3 year work shortage visa and they want me to start as soon as possible. It will take about 2 months for the paper work to get sorted, and then I can move out there. I finish my uk job in May and will be moving out there shortly afterwards. It all happened over Feb half term and was surprisingly quick, I'm super excited to get started!
    And for anyone else on this forum looking for work in Aus, I definitely recommend rural areas. The region of Townsville in QLD is currently expanding greatly and looking for teachers, it's how I managed to get the job so easily. Best of luck! :)
    D_T_L, lisacurley1986, cmn374 and 3 others like this.
  14. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    That's great news, congratulations! Definitely encouraging news for other people in the same situation too. What visa did you get, is it the 887 skilled regional? Or employer sponsored 186? It's certainly not surprising that it's rural schools where the shortages are
  15. josh_east

    josh_east New commenter

    I'm sure that's not right, high school teacher still definitely appears on the Australia skilled occupation list as eligible to apply for the skilled independent 189 visa. So an experienced teacher without a job offer could still apply for this visa, although of course there's no guarantee that they'd get it. And if you're granted an independent visa there's no obligation to stick with the occupation you applied with once you're out there, so if you struggled to find teaching work you could always look for something else

  16. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    It appears on the list but the only people who get invites now have 100+ points. To have this you need 8+ years work experience and either work experience in Aus, a STEM degree or an Australian degree.
  17. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Well done, I hope you have a fantastic time. If you're hoping to stay beyond the 3 years, start preparing what you need to apply for extensions as soon as you arrive. Don't leave it until the last minute as some people do that and then realise they missed their chance.
  18. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

    Went to Oz for four years from start of 2012. Wife got a 457 visa. I am Maths/Chemistry and got the first job I applied for in Brisbane. Desperate shortage of maths/chemistry and my employer done all the college of teachers registration stuff. Education Queensland are fantastic to work for. Salary had spending power of about 50k pounds in UK. I never found the infamous cost of living bad. Basic cars like Ford or Holden you pay in dollars what we pay in pounds. Same for petrol. Many foods are reasonable relative to your wage.Medical expenses were the worst but they have a reciprocal agreement with UK on health but if you didn't have private healthcare you pay more in tax. Superannuation system must be one of the very best in world. To qualify for a government state pension you need 10 years residency. Standard of living and quality of life fantastic. Both much much better than UK. They have not had a recession in well over 20 years. School day was 850 am to 310 pm.

    The usual story: Maths/Chemistry/Physics pick your school. Was certainly no jobs for history teachers when I was there and you would not have qualified for a visa when we got our 457 (and they have tightened everything up since then). Best place I have been. Ozzies are brilliant, great sense of humour and sun shines every day in Queensland. Do you have a spouse with a skill that could get you a visa or PR? Would be more than pleased to swap my UK and Canadian passports for Ozzie one. I have not read all your posts but without a spouse with skill in demand you have no chance.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
  19. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

    Wow just read your post about getting a visa. Didn't expect that. brilliant country. Brilliant people. Go and have the time of your life.
  20. simar4321

    simar4321 New commenter

    Make sure you don't pay a single penny before you get your profile assess. Unless you are teaching something like nuclear science or virology. their is no chance of getting visa. Rules for visa have changed a lot in few years. So basically what I am trying to say here is before applying for any thing make sure you get your profile assessed.

    Here's our point calculator based on recent changes. Assess your profile here with our calculator: http://immigrationconsultantgroup.in/australia-pr-point-calculator/

    Here's our latest blog on: How to get Australian PR in 2020

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