Are there many skilled labour jobs available?
There are currently a number of employment opportunities in Australia’s skilled labour market. This is primarily a result of the continuing expansion of the country’s infrastructure and the shortage of qualified people. We provide recruitment solutions to a range of companies throughout Australia, and are strongly encouraging the recruitment of travellers on a temporary basis to combat the current skills shortage.

What kind of work do you recruit people for?
We specialise in the recruitment of both permanent and contract staff in the fields of engineering, architecture, construction and property, from a graduate level through to senior executive staff.

What kind of people are you looking for?
Australia’s economy has seen growth through a resources boom, driving immigration and great investment into residential and commercial building, as well as infrastructure developments. We are seeing peak demand for qualified and experienced staff in Australia and can offer work for staff with relevant skills to work in all engineering stages of the property, construction and infrastructure lifecycle.

What’s the best way to go about finding work?
Give us a call, or email us as soon as you arrive in Australia, even before you get here! By letting us know of your travel plans, we can coordinate with our offices throughout Australia and ensure that we keep you well informed of available positions in each city that you visit.

Why do you think this kind of work is such a good option for travellers?
We can make sure that you continue to develop your career while you are travelling in Australia. If successful, we can guarantee you secure, consistent work over a specified period of time, as well as assist you in finding professional work at your next destination. But most importantly, you’ll get more money than you would working in hospitality, or as a bartender at the local pub.

What is the average rate of pay?
We conduct an annual salary survey so as to ensure that we are well up to date with salary trends in the engineering market. In terms of specific rates, it will largely depend on your experience. When you first meet with us, a consultant will discuss current market trends and give you a realistic wage that you can expect to earn.

Do you have work available across Australia?
We understand that you’re not going to stay in one part of Australia, but rather explore every inch of the continent. We have over 30 offices in Australia and New Zealand, so when you decide it’s time to move on to your next destination, we can put you in touch with a recruitment consultant in that area. From capital cities to outback Australia, if there is engineering work there, we will find it for you.

How long are the work placements?
The length of a placement depends on the specific position as well as your availability. Hays can help you to find work for a couple of weeks so you can afford your next flight, or for the full six months that the Working Holiday Visa allows. In addition, we can assist in getting you sponsored by a company so that you can work in Australia permanently and enjoy the sunshine for as long as you want.

What are the advantages of signing up with your agency?
Hays are a specialist recruitment agency. When dealing with us, you can talk to a consultant who specialises in the area in which you work. We pride ourselves in knowing the engineering industry back to front. This allows us to put you in touch with the right people quickly, and find you a role that suits you and pays you the most money!

Can you help me find work when I return home?
Absolutely! We have an international network of offices. In addition, we have a division known as Globalink, whose function is to assist in the recruitment of candidates living in foreign countries. After working for Hays in Australia, we can forward your details through Globalink, and recommend you to offices in your home country. For more information on Globalink, check out our website.

Thanks to Matt Sampson. Visit for the location of all offices in Australia and New Zealand, their contact numbers, as well as current job vacancies.


Davidson Global
Ph: (07) 3221 0044

Grunt Labour
Ph: (07) 3279 7000 Brisbane
(08) 8941 3700 Darwin
(08) 9192 8555 Broome
(04) 1620 6163 Sydney

Hays Engineering
Ph: (02) 8226 9796 Sydney
(03) 9642 4066 Melb
(07) 3243 3066 Brisbane

Ready Workforce
Ph: (02) 9269 8666 Sydney
(03) 8629 1100 Melb
(07) 3003 7755 Brisbane

Tech Staff
Ph: (02) 9432 3333 Sydney
(03) 9864 6050 Melb
(07) 3347 7600 QLD


Who are you?
Brandon Mettler, 25, from the United States.

What did you do at home?
I was a civil engineer, working in the Land Development sector.

And what kind of work are you doing over here?
I am currently working at a large engineering consultancy in Melbourne. My role is working as a civil AutoCAD draftsperson in the company’s water group.

How did you hear about your current job? Was it easy to find work in Oz?
I found my current job through Hays Construction and Property. It wasn’t easy to find work myself. I arrived in the middle of summer when most hospitality and temp jobs were filled up. I came upon Hays and their temporary contract work while applying for a different position with them. After meeting with them, they tracked down some different options for me. I had an interview and a job in three days.

Best points of your job?
Working with great people on an extremely large project and furthering my career while travelling. Things have gone so well that my employers would like me to stay on as long as possible and joke about taking away my passport. I am sure I could get sponsorship if I would like to return.

Any bad points?
I am in an office at a computer.

Three words to describe your job?
Challenging, interesting, substantial.

What’s the pay like?
Considering my situation, the pay is good. It is certainly better than what you would receive in hospitality.

What advice would you give to other travellers who are looking for work in the same industry?
Contract temp work is probably the best way to go. You know how long you will be working and the agency does all the difficult ground work for you. Engineering companies usually only higher long term employees, so it might also be the only option.

How does working over here compare to back home?
There is less stress, shorter hours, and Australians love their happy hour after work.

How long have you been in Australia?
Two months now.

Have you travelled much so far?
Just to Adelaide and the Melbourne area.

Future travel plans?
Yes, with the money I have saved here I will head to New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand. Maybe even a trip to the outback if I have enough time.

While trying to drive across the Simpson Desert, LIZZIE JOYCE and her partner were forced to hitch a ride with some dodgy truckers.

Early one January morning my boyfriend Dan and I set off on our trip across three states, covering 3,000 miles on what would turn out to be the best trip I have ever done, not to mention the most dangerous. We were attempting to cross the Simpson Desert on our way to Alice Springs from Sydney. We were fully prepared and set off in our 4WD loaded with equipment, including 60 litres of water, a double swag, a laser beam,
and an Epirb signal.

After 10 hours of driving, watching the landscape turn from highways and tall buildings to red earth and eternal horizons we glided past an old mining town called Cobar, stopped for a wee and drove on through, thankful that this ‘Hicksville’ town was not our destination. But while driving at an average speed of 120km per hour, the trusty car (which I was assured had “just had a full service and was made for driving across such terrain”) was disintegrating and the entire wheel was about to fall off.

Ugly mothertruckers

Suddenly, the brakes started to fail and smoke started pouring out the front passenger tyre. We were 120km from the last town and with at least 100km to the next, Dan decided we should drive on (without brakes) and see if we could make it to our destination. Luckily it didn’t last long anyway as the car stopped in defiance and we were forced to pull off the road in the middle of nowhere. Within minutes two semi-trailers driving in convoy by brothers, pulled up to offer us help and I’ve never been so glad to see two spectacularly ugly truckers before in my life. Freaky Brother One then began to undress me, with his eyes, almost frothing at the mouth at coming in such close proximity to someone of the opposite sex, while Freaky Brother Two was pretending to be a mechanic and baffling Dan with his bullshit. It was turning into Wolf Creek.

Nothing could be done with the car, and we had no choice but to accept a lift from Freaky Brother One to the nearest roadhouse 13km up the road. But then he said there wouldn’t be enough room in the cab so Dan should travel with his brother and I should hop into his cab by myself. By this point I was close to hysteria and there was no way I would be getting in that lorry by myself.

So we both hopped in with Brother Number Two. Dan settled in the middle of the very spacious cab which had enough room to house a small Albanian family! Relieved to be on our way to a phone box and in relative safety, (even if we were in being driven by an axe wielding maniac I had enough faith that Dan could knock him out if it came to it) I thought it would be plain sailing from here. After a couple of minutes on the road Brother Number One starts becoming agitated – he thinks he has lost his keys as he can’t use the radio to contact his brother. He pulls into the side of the road and asks me to hop out to see if he had left them in the door lock. This forced me into ungraceful acrobatic maneuvers in order to hang myself out the door and reach round to grab the keys, with freaky brother one more than enjoying the view of my ass in the air. The keys were there, so off we set again in stilted silence.

Roadhouse blues

Finally we caught sight of the roadhouse and saw our escape was only minutes away and we made a sharp exit from the freaky brothers. Good riddance!

The roadhouse turned out to be a petrol pump and a shop that was about to close. They had a phone though and we arranged for a tow truck to pick us up and take us back to the nearest town… Cobar (the Hicksville town we drove through scorning) where we would have to wait for the next three days for the car to be repaired. How ironic that the town we were laughing at turned out to be our refuge.

So we skipped the Simpson Desert and took another route to Alice Springs where we arrived two weeks later with the biggest smiles and the best memories!

Send us a travel tale (preferably about Oz) and if it’s published you’ll win a $300 travel voucher redeemable on Oz Experience Passes and ATA NT camping trips ( Email your tales (700 words max), with a picture of yourself, to