Australia: A Land of Opportunity despite Economic Downturn

Australia may not be considered a prime destination for working, but the opportunities on offer make a compelling case when considering the country as an employment destination. Even though the Australian Federal government cut its skilled migrant program by 14% in response to worsening economic conditions, the number of working holiday visas is rising rapidly, contrary to expectations.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) a 70% increase in working holiday visa grants over the past five years has been reported. Figures previously stood at 93,844 in 2003-04 versus a massive rise to 157, 574 for the period of 2007-08.

There is currently no limit to the number of applications for holiday visas for 25 participating countries whose citizens aged between 18 and 30 are eligible to apply for work in Australia. Though many applicants tend to undertake unskilled jobs, one is legally able to work in any position for up to six months.

Even before the economic crisis set in last year, residents of the world’s most sophisticated cities have been quietly making their way down under.

American Jessica Rubinstein in her twenties told FC Blogger’s Lindsey Pollak that the lifestyle in Sydney was part of her decision to work in the land down under. “I just love how Sydney is a big international city and there are beaches 20 minutes away from the Central Business District. It’s laid back, has a beautiful landscape, people are friendly, the food is good and life here is just great.”

In the same article New Yorker Tracey Taibe says she has had more opportunity to advance her marketing career in Australia than when working in New York. “I also think having international working experience can boost anyone’s resume,” she adds, noting that her previous managers advised her that the “international experience is very valuable to anyone’s career”.

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