With valuable skills and plentiful job opportunities, nurses and healthcare workers have long been welcomed into Australia. A recent announcement from the Australian Government revealed that nurses, physiotherapists, midwives and dieticians are now particularly in demand. As the population grows and expands, this skills shortage is predicted to increase year after year.
This is great news for anyone thinking of moving to Australia with skills in this area as recruiters are looking beyond their own shores to fill essential posts. British nurses can easily transfer their skills down under and find work in one of the many new posts being created. If you could help ease this skill shortage, Australia could offer both a rewarding career and fulfilling life in the sun.
Why Nurses Are in Demand in Australia?
Australia’s population has more than doubled in the last 50 years and continues to rise steadily each year. This combined with a growing proportion of elderly residents is putting the current healthcare services under increasing pressure. The government is responding to this increased demand by expanding health provision, particularly in areas such as community care and maternity services.
Several new hospitals are also under construction in towns and cities across Australia to meet the needs of the booming population. These additional services and hospitals will, of course, need skilled, qualified staff and the government has undertaken a large-scale recruitment drive to ensure sufficient staffing levels. While, understandably, the initial drive focussed on employing Australian nurses and doctors, the remaining gaps in staffing have led to healthcare departments looking overseas for skilled workers to meet the demand.
Why Move to Australia?
Thousands of British expats are drawn to Australia every year, lured by the year-round sunshine and beautiful never-ending beaches. It offers a healthy, active lifestyle with plenty of time outdoors swimming, sunbathing and spending time with new friends. Australia was even recently voted the best place in the world to live for quality of life, demonstrating the high standard of living enjoyed by expats and residents alike.
Australia’s stable economy and the high standard of healthcare and education make it a logical, hassle free option for Britons looking to move abroad. The lack of a language barrier makes getting settled and finding work relatively easy. Sharing a language can also be a huge advantage when it comes meeting to new people and making friends. With well over a million Brits living in Australia, there are plenty of expat friends waiting to welcome you as well.
For qualified nurses, Australia offers stable career prospects and a fair salary. Working conditions compare favourably with the UK with nurses enjoying a manageable 35 hour average working week. The country’s clean, modern hospitals and health centres are amongst the most advanced in the world and genuinely enjoyable places to work and treat patients. If you’d like to find out more about why Australia is the perfect expat destination, check out our guide to moving to Australia.
Who Are They Looking For?
There are slight shortages in almost every field of nursing, but in both rural areas and cities some skills are particularly needed. Theatre and mental health nurses are in particularly short supply across Australia, particularly in the newly established hospitals. Experienced midwives are also actively being recruited across the country due the to the expanding population.
The plans to extend community and out patient care have also led to several vacancies for allied health workers. Physiotherapists and podiatrists are particularly in demand to assist patients with mobility and other physical problems at home, in health centres and within a hospital setting. There are also several vacancies for dieticians and occupational therapists to help keep communities healthy and active. There is also a high demand for palliative care nurses to in hospitals and hospices across the country.
Demand is greatest for skilled nurses with proven experience in specialist fields such as theatre or emergency care. However, with increasing shortages, there are also possible opportunities for graduate nurses and allied healthcare workers which is great news for new, young nurses.
Where Are They Needed?
While nurses are needed in every corner of Australia, it is the rural areas that have the greatest need. Several smaller towns are struggling to recruit qualified nurses with the specific experience required to fill particular roles.
Towns across the Northern Territory are currently looking for nurses as are Mount Gambier and Port Augusta in South Australia. On the beautiful island of Tasmania, nurses are needed in Burnie and Launceston. In Victoria, just an hour or so from Melbourne, the towns of Geelong, Gippsland and Bendigo are all also looking for nurses to staff new healthcare facilities. While many Brits prefer the big cities of Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, those who fill the vacancies in the more remote areas are rewarded with generous salaries and a friendly, small town community.
For those wanting to move to a larger city, rest assured that there are opportunities for nurses in every region. While the greatest shortages are in rural areas, there are still opportunities in the biggest cities. There is a particular shortage of midwives as well as emergency and theatre nurses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, perfect for experienced expat nurses looking for a new life down under.
How to Get There
Although there is a need for foreign nurses, the process of gaining work and moving to Australia as a nurse can seem lengthy and frustrating. Understandably, it is essential that the relevant authorities check and assess everyone wanting to work in this field to ensure the safety of Australian patients.
The process varies slightly state to state, but generally the first step is to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. You may then need a specific assessment of your skills and qualifications, conducted by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, to ensure they meet the requirements to practice.
If you are successful, you may then contact nursing recruitment agencies or apply for specific jobs. Many seek out nursing agencies specialising in overseas recruitment, who may also be able to help and guide you through the visa process.
As a nurse, you are classed as a skilled worker. This means that, once you have found a suitable job, there is a good chance of being granted a working visa. Your employer can advise and assist you through the visa process or you can hire a migration agent to hold your hand and help with everything from paperwork to finding accommodation.
Once granted a visa, you will be ready to pack your bags and jump on a plane to start your new job and explore your sunny new home.
What Are You Waiting For?
As the demand for healthcare workers grows, Australia can offer nurses great career prospects and financial security. If you can help meet this demand, moving down under can also offer an excellent standard of living. The modern infrastructure and stable economy make Australia a safe, comfortable place to live and work. Then, of course, there is the year round sunshine and miles of gorgeous beaches that are clearly an attractive prospect.
If you’re ready to make the move, we can help. Check out our shipping services to Australia to find out how we can get you there.
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