Irish tradesmen looking to emigrate to Australia can now receive their work licenses in Ireland before they leave.

Electricians and plumbers will be able to earn a ‘pre-clearance’ on the licenses needed to work in Australia.

An agreement reached between the Irish Technical, Engineering and Electrical Union and its Aussie counterpart will potentially save Irish emigrants months of training and waiting when they land in Oz.

Australian employment laws require a number of different licenses and certificates for different specialist tradesmen, in addition to visas, before they can take up jobs.
Training courses and clearance can take months before emigrants can start to work and earn money.

“An electrician can’t just go to Australia on a backpacker’s visa and take up a job. They need a license, which can take months to secure,” the union’s general secretary, Eamon Devoy told reporters.

“There are a lot of bogus situations where people are given the impression that they have been set up with a job, only to arrive there and find they don’t have the necessary license to take it up, or people get sent out to some job in the desert. What we want is to get quality jobs for people.”

Now the Irish union has established a scheme with its counterpart in Australia, the Electrical Trades Union, through its training division Future Skills.

The scheme allows the Irish union to run a training certification and licensing scheme so that Irish electricians and plumbers can get all the necessary documentation before they leave.

“The scheme could be compared to the way emigration pre-clearance for travel to the US works at Shannon airport,” added Devoy.

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“We are working hand in hand with our colleague union to make sure that people have the skills and qualifications they need so that people can take up the best jobs available.”
Devoy also said that there are significant shortages in the plumbing and electrical trades across Australia.

“The Australian government will be coming to the jobs expo in the RDS in October to recruit Irish labor. We’d like to have testing set up by then. There are 20,000 jobs in the craft area in Perth alone and significant skill shortages in Sydney as well,” he said

Devoy’s union is developing links with Canada to set up a similar scheme.