Foreign workers are being warned that it is by no means certain that they can get jobs in Australia’s booming mining industry by charities who have found an increasing number of people are being disappointed.
The problem is that talk of high salaries is tempting a large number of young people from places like New Zealand to think they can walk into a job.
The Trans Tasman Travel Agreement of 1973 means that both Australians and New Zealanders can travel between and live in both countries without a visa.
But research shows that for the first time in history, over 50,000 New Zealanders made the move to Australia in the year ending November 2011, with less than 15,000 New Zealand citizens making the journey the other way.
Charities in Australia say that while they are tempted by news of a jobs boom they do not realise that since February 2001 Australia doesn’t provide NZ immigrants access to welfare or other government services if they lose their job.
This lack of state assistance has meant that the number of New Zealanders living in Australia in need of assistance was on the rise, according to the Logan Youth and Family Services Centre which is based in Queensland.
Chief executive Cath Bartolow said that New Zealanders aren’t aware of the difficulties they face when they don’t have access to support and assistance.
‘When they find themselves out of work, it is just so difficult to stay on their feet when the bills keep coming in,’ she explained. She added that some are ending up homeless or relying on family and friends to send them money.
Denise Love, general manager of Brisbane based Russo Recruitment, one of Queensland’s leading job companies, said the mining industry was constantly looking for new employees and New Zealand migrants were filling many positions.
‘A recent trend we have seen is migrants sending their resumes before leaving New Zealand in attempts to secure work in the mines on their arrival. It is not only young people who are making the move but whole families are coming over for the chance to work in the booming industry,’ she explained.