Looking for work but not quite sure where? If you’ve got trade qualifications there is a lot of work going on both sides of the country. NIKKI MOONEY gives you the low down on skilled labour in Oz.

Don’t hang up your boots when you’re travelling Australia, bring them along!

If you have skills and experience why not put them to good use during your working holiday Down Under.

General director of http://www.hays.com.au/main/default.aspx[Hays Recruitment] Shane Little says the shortage of jobs since the Global Financial Crisis has eased.

“Opportunities in Sydney are good and thanks to Australia’s construction and mining industries, Melbourne and Perth are booming,” says Little.

And the good news for backpackers is Australian employers will happily hire travellers on 12-month working holiday visas to work the six-month approved period.

Generally speaking though you need a minimum of 12 months work under your tool belt but if you are willing to be flexible and take a entry-level job, the chances of gaining employment are a lot higher.

Fields with high demand include the mining and mechanical trades as well as general labouring.

“The biggest demand at the moment is what we call HFact, which is the heating and ventilating industry,’ Little says.

If you’re hoping to stay in Oz and gain sponsorship, having a trade is one of the best ways to ensure your holiday destination becomes a home.

But some may find it easier than others. According to Little a minimum of two years is normally required for electricians and carpenters to gain sponsorship, unless they’re willing to step up into management.

And using your trade is a great way to save those much needed dollars for your travels as well.

Pay rates will ultimately depend on your skills and experience but generally speaking, electricians are looking at $30-$35p/hr, carpenters $28-$34p/hr and general construction workers $22-$26p/hr.

So why not use those highly sought after skills and earn some pretty decent money while you’re at it.

An interview with a plumber
28, UK

What made you decide to come and work in Australia?
It was the opportunity to travel and work at the same time.

How did you land your new job?
I was referred to Hays recruitment agency through a friend, and within two days I got work in Perth. I’ve been here for six months so far.

And what exactly is it that you do now?
I’m working as a skilled labourer for a plumbing company. I’m a qualified gas fitter in England, but due to licensing laws in Australia I can’t work as a plumber.

What are you planning to do with the money that you earn?
I’ve already travelled to New Zealand with the money I’ve earned so far but I plan to see more of Australia and Asia.

Where have you travelled so far, and where are you heading next?
I’ve travelled around the whole of Australia in my campervan – from Perth to Perth.

Memorable moments at your new job?
There is a great social environment at work, and the funny stories are many.

What are the good points about your new job?
Good pay, I get paid on time, good managers and of course free drinks on Fridays.

And are there any bad points?
Well, it’s still work… But at least it pays for more travelling and for going out on the weekends.

How’s the pay?
The pay is really good. I’m really happy with it.

Would you recommend your jobs to fellow travellers?
Yes, absolutely.