Getting the Right Papers


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Certificates. Except the one you got for 100m breast stroke back in Year 3 you probably have not cherished one since. Yet if you want to get ahead in Australia, you have to prove your worth with the relevant paperwork.

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Employers want proof dammit, hard evidence to back up your claims. RSA, RCG, TEFL; note down the acronyms and pack away the right reinforced sheets of A4 as they might be the difference in you getting that job and your application ending on the scrap heap.

As the many episodes of Neighbours featuring a seemingly endless supply of tinnies at a barbeque prove, Australians like their booze and even for a job as widely needed as barman you need the requisite credentials. In this case it is known as the RSA, which stands for Responsible Service of Alcohol. Thankfully this is one of the easier ones to get your hands on and can take as little as three hours. For most states you can even do it online from the comfort of your own home then print off the certificate at your leisure, only Victoria and Tasmania enforce face to face training with an accredited trainer. Alas, as with most things in Australia it does not come for free and prices range from $45 to $70.

Where there is alcohol you will often find pokies (gambling machines) and of course there is a certificate for that too. The qualification is known as the RCG or Responsible Conduct of Gambling, which is to ensure that anyone working in and around pokies, such as hoteliers and security staff, are trained to ensure that customers gamble in a responsible manner. As with the RSA this is usually a half-day course and prices range from $65 to $85. However, deals can be had if you choose to do the RSA and RSG courses simultaneously and having both on your CV may well give you an edge in getting that dream bar / nightclub / hotel / casino job.

Need Help With Your Australian Visa

One favourite job amongst backpackers is, of course, Teaching English as a Foreign Language or TEFL. While it is of little use in Australia itself there are locations in South East Asia that would happily take you if you can take a class under your arms and release them speaking the Queen’s best. One such location is Thailand where a high percentage of those who want to stay teach English for a living. Recently the criteria has become a little trickier with most schools now requiring a Bachelor’s degree plus a 120-hour TEFL course. You can also take your pick from countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Japan and Hong Kong. Locations to take a TEFL course are in the major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth so book a weekend off and get it done. Prices range from $429 for the 20-hour entry level course and $799 for the more comprehensive 140-hours which includes 20-hours of practical training.

Hairdressing also requires a certificate, well, you wouldn’t employ just anyone loose with a pair of scissors around a paying customer’s head now would you. To train you can undertake Technical and Further Education (or TAFE) in institutions that are basically the Australian equivalent of college. There are foundation courses (Certificate I and II) yet Certificate III in Hairdressing is the basic one year course and with that qualification students blossom into fully qualified hairdressers. TAFE also covers fields such as tourism, engineering and IT; areas which could eventually help you gain sponsorship.

Even if you simply want to gain a head start for a job application you can gain a qualification through Recognition Prior Learning. This becomes particularly handy if you lack a diploma in a skill that you want to see recognised. Let’s say your father has trained you how to fix a car, now you can gain a qualification in Automotive Mechanical Technology to show a prospective employer. Or maybe you are an ace at painting nails before a night out, now you could gain a Certificate II in Nail Technology to show it.

Applying for jobs in Australia can be a tedious, tiresome ordeal yet if you know what you want to do then the first step to impress is to prove it. Whether it be a barman, hairdresser or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, any prospective employer wants hard evidence of your skills so take the course, highlight it in bold on your CV then slap the certificate on the desk at the interview.

By Omar Solimon

Travel – Australia Work & Travel Magazine – What’s On Aus, Cheap Tours & Accommodation (

Read more- things to do in Broome Archives – Go West Handbook
Also Read- Guide on Partner visa for Australia (Subclasses 820 and 801) (


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