A working holiday in Australia is sure to serve up once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, but also unique work opportunities.
From mixing cocktails in a glamorous city bar and rounding up cattle on a 10,000-hectare (24,000- acre) farm in Queensland, to crewing on a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef, there are literally thousands of jobs open to a working holiday maker.
Every year, thousands of visitors take advantage of the different types of working holiday visas, which enable people from eligible countries aged 18-30 to work for up to a year while in Australia – and up to two years if working in a rural area for part of the time.
Holidaymakers from countries as diverse as the UK, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea and France work their way around the country enjoying the nation’s beaches, vibrant nightlife and memorable landscapes.
Here’s how your customer can secure work while on holiday in Australia.
If looking for a lot of support on their working holiday journey, a work program might be ideal. Providers of work programs, such as The Global Work & Travel Co. and Work N Holiday, provide guaranteed work opportunities for working holiday makers throughout the duration of their stay. The program might include airport pick-up, an induction to help get established, and social activities. They may also help set up housing, provide training and even assist in getting a bank account and tax file number (TFN).
If comfortable beginning the job search after arriving in Australia, meeting potential employers face-to-face can be a great way to secure work, especially in the hospitality industry. Suggest they hit the streets and stop into bars and restaurants that may need bar tenders or servers. And keep in mind that anyone responsible for serving alcohol in Australia needs to complete Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) training and receive an RSA Certificate.
Visiting hostels, hotels, shops and restaurants might be time-intensive, but it’s also rewarding to chat with the locals, meet other travellers and settle into the Australian way of life.
There are several powerful tools – online and otherwise – that can help your customer secure a job on their working holiday. Several online search engines in Australia showcase open positions, including Seek, Indeed and Career One. Also search the Backpacker Job Board, which lists jobs specifically for backpackers.
When using these online job boards, it may be helpful to limit the search to short-term or contract roles, which are more likely to hire applicants on a working holiday visa. Some job listings will even mention their relevance to working holiday makers, particularly in administration and hospitality.
Become familiar with popular jobs for working holiday makers, like administration assistants, receptionists, restaurant servers, childcare providers, boat crew, fruit harvesters and retail or hotel workers.
Don’t forget that some Aussie jobs, like those on farms, may be seasonal and only available for part of the year.
Most jobs accept online applications, but before applying, it’s important to have a Curriculum Vitae (CV) created. A CV (also known as a resume) is a document that shows qualifications, previous work experience and previous education, and is a necessary tool to secure a range of jobs.
If looking for some help in the job search journey, a recruitment agency can be a great resource. A recruitment agency can help them search for jobs that relate to their skillset, apply for roles and secure employment. A recruitment agency is likely to require their CV, so recommend they write theirs beforehand or ask the agency for advice on writing it.
While the chosen recruitment agency may apply for jobs on their behalf, an interview is usually conducted before a job is offered, so ensure they brush up on their interview skills, dress professionally, print their CV, give detailed answers to each question and arrive early or on time.
One of the best things about a working holiday is the freedom. If they have a sense of adventure and are keen to move around Australia, then it’s possible to find work as they travel. Leads could come from anywhere, so they should keep their ears open around their hostel and keep an eye out for job postings.
The Australian government has also compiled a Harvest Guide for travellers who want to help pick, harvest and gather produce in Australia’s rural - yet beautiful - farming towns. Because harvest seasons differ across the country, they’ll have the opportunity to experience a range of regions as they move from town to town. Whether they'd like to help pick grapes in the Adelaide Hills, cut flowers in Sydney or gather pineapples on the Sunshine Coast, there is year-round work in Australia on the Harvest Trail.
For the most up to date information about the types of working holiday visas and each nation’s eligibility, see the Department of Home Affairs website.