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GB537

Skills assessment - Community Worker

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Hi all.

Last month I finally started the ball rolling on moving to Oz by employing a migration agent! She has advised that my best option is a 489 visa for SA, and said my most appropriate occupation would be a Community Worker (I have an educational background in psychology and forensic psychology, 4+ years as a support worker in offender, homelessness and mental health services including family support work, and am currently a manager in a mental health supported housing project).

Despite my agent appearing confident, I cannot help but be anxious about the skills assessment as I do not know what to expect.

I was wondering if anybody else here has had a skills assessment under the community worker occupation? What was it like? Do I just have to submit things like education transcripts and my job description/contract, or is there an interview or any tests, etc?

Many thanks in advance!

Edited by GB537

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Are you applying as a community worker or a psychologist?  If a psychologist (or even if you call yourself thus or indicate that you are engaging in psychological practice) then you will need to be registered with AHPRA before you can get any employment using the term "psychologist" and jumping through the AHPRA hoops is a nightmare in spades.   Sorry, can't help you with the community worker skills if that is what you aspire to be.

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1 hour ago, Quoll said:

Are you applying as a community worker or a psychologist?  If a psychologist (or even if you call yourself thus or indicate that you are engaging in psychological practice) then you will need to be registered with AHPRA before you can get any employment using the term "psychologist" and jumping through the AHPRA hoops is a nightmare in spades.   Sorry, can't help you with the community worker skills if that is what you aspire to be.

Thanks for your reply.

 I’m applying as a community worker. Sorry, I should’ve been more specific - Psychology is my educational background (BSc and MSc), I don’t practice psychology.

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Hiya, I was in a very similar position three years ago! I studied BSc Psychology, and then went on to social work, as a support worker for homelessness. I did this for about 5 years.

So we applied for a 489 visa, state sponsored by SA and we have been living in Adelaide for 19 months. So your migration agent is right to be confident! We actually did our application without an agent as it’s an extra expense and the process is pretty straight forward. For the skills assessment I had to submit a current CV outlining my job role and they look to see if it fits into the community/social worker role which is on the skilled Visa list.

Yes you will need to submit transcripts and certificates, employment details and you have to do an English language test IELTS. Yes even if you’re English. I was born and raised in London and still had to do the test as it makes for a fairer process I think, and English skills do vary even within England!

This is a skilled work list for Australia,

 http://www.visabureau.com/australia/anzsco/jobs/social-worker-job-australia.aspx

You will have to have your skills assessed through an official assessing authority. I think that’s the AASW Australian Association of Social Workers. Or VETASSESS. Which is skills assessment for migration.

This highlights what they will be looking for. If you scroll down you can see the applications you will need to fill in.

 https://www.aasw.asn.au/careers-study/assessment-of-social-work-qualifications-international-or-australian-for-migration-and-or-employment-purposes  

 

-         Your general information

-         Secondary and Higher Education where you studied etc.  

-         You will also need to complete an IELTS test for English. And attach your score.

-         Work details e.g. employer, length of time.

You didn’t mention if you have done IELTS yet so… https://www.ielts.org/

 

Hope that helps. It can be a long process and lots of document gathering but worth it. Also you will find even with an agent your still going to have to fill in the majority of these forms yourself. And at the end of the process there is a form 80 which goes into ridiculous details, you have to list your sibling’s information and parent’s info and where you have travelled to in the last 10 years with dates! It’s Laborious but again once it’s done it’s done.

 And if you did want to go the psychologist route as I am now doing. AHPRA are a headache but hey once its done its done!

Hope that helps!!

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Thanks so much for your detailed response!

It’s good to know that somebody in a similar situation has been granted their visa, so I can try to relax - I’m a bit of a worrier, so the long waiting times just give me more time to worry about all the things that could go wrong!!

It sounds as if it should be quite straight forward then, I have all my transcripts and most of my experience is with my current employer so that should be simple enough. The last thing I need to get is a good enough IELTS score - I sat the test last week, and receive my results on Friday, so fingers crossed!!

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Oh, also, Adelaide is where I am looking to move to, as I have family out there. What is the work situation like in Social care over there? And how do you find the hours, holidays, pay, etc comparing to back in the UK?

I’ve heard positive things but would be good to know from somebody living it!

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  I think there are quite a lot of jobs in the social work field, you can always look on seek.com.au to check out possible opportunities. I’ve been working for 7 months and I would say it takes a good 6 months to get to know all of the agencies and what they do and to get a good handle on the system over here. I find the hours pretty good. The position that I’m in was advertised as full time but the company have flexible working options, so I reduced it to 4 days a week as I have young children and that wasn’t a problem.

   I know that Department for child protection are always hiring but they also have a high turnover! Other agencies such as Anglicare, Baptist Care, Salvation Army – Muggy’s. Relationships Australia are good organisations to work for. And often have social work roles with case work/advocacy roles, they often have something called Salary Packaging which means a portion of your salary is tax free so that portion is put onto a separate card which can be used in shops and to book holidays etc. It’s usually around $500/600 and it can also go straight towards rent or childcare too. But it doesn’t roll over to the next financial year. Then you get the remaining money from your pay taxed at a lower rate. So you have more to take home. So you will often see jobs advertising salary packaging, that’s what they mean.     

The pay is also good, I have found some things to be more expensive here though like meat in the supermarkets. And car washes are extortionate but they do have self-wash places too. And electricity bills in South Australia is apparently the most expensive in the world. So there are pros and cons. But I think the salary covers basic costs and still leaves extra for family days out and extras, which we didn’t have in London.

Holidays are great because you have the bigger cities to visit. Melbourne is great for a weekend getaway drive (8 hours) or fly. Flights to Bali are also cheap. And again a lot of organisations offer leave loading, which means you get paid your normal base salary plus a bit extra when you do take annual leave. As an incentive for employees to take time off.

and fingers crossed for your IELTS results!! let me know how you get on.

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That's good to know. Thanks for the details on the agencies, I'll have a look at the ones you have mentioned. I'm also going to the Down Under Live immigration show next weekend so I'll take along my CV to speak to a few recruiters there. After a few years of secure employment, giving it up seems so scary!

I picked up my IELTS results today: 9, 9, 8, 8.5 so overall = 8.5. This should bring my points up to 80 so hopefully once my skills assessment is done, things might start to gather pace!

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Oh well done on the IELTS that's great!!

 It is a scary idea giving up secure work, and your home etc. Its a hard decision. Have you visited South Australia before to see family?

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Yes, I’ve been over 4 or 5 times over the years, I love it. I’ve been thinking about moving for the past 3 or 4 years but my partner at the time never wanted to. Now I’m in the position of starting over and needing to decide where I’m going to put down my roots, here or there, so it felt like the right time to go for it.

Although it is scary, I know I’m in a more fortunate position than most,  having family support over there so the plan is for me to stay with my sister, brother in law and their kids until I’m on my feet with a job, then rent somewhere nearby. 

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Hi everyone 

I need some advice 

May I apply skill assessment and visa to gather?

Thanks 

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Hopefully somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure you need to have a positive skills assessment before you apply for a visa. The skills assessment is done by a different regulating body, not immigration who deal with processing the visas.

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