I write in search of some advice regarding working as a planner in Australia. I am aware that such posts are submitted from time to time but was wondering if someone can provide me some up to date advice… I will try and be as concise as possible!
I a 26 year old, English MA graduate Town and Country Planner with a BA in Geography. I have studied regeneration, GIS, strategic planning, urban design, environmental impact and strategic environmental assessment and have principal interests in coastal management and marine planning. I have 1 years experience with Scott Wilson LTD (environmental consultancy) in GIS, but I left after 13 months as I won a full government scholarship to study my Master’s degree in Planning. (I like and appreciate GIS but do not want to do this full-time).
My concern is that I do not have the 3 years experience in planning sought by Australian immigration. I plan to arrive September 2011, by which time I will have roughly one year of (part time) experience (with the graduate job market so slow in the UK I have had to gain work experience on a voluntary basis and have therefore needed to keep my part time (paid) job too). I am hoping that such experience, with my one year in GIS (a skill on the critical list) will be enough to be accepted for a full working visa. My partner is a Marketing Account Manager and has 3 years experience.
Can anyone provide me a realistic account of my chances of getting employed somewhere? As I said my principal interests are in Coastal Management and planning, although I would be happy to get involved in more land-use planning if that is where the shortages lye. Is it common for local government in Australia to have specific coastal management and planning departments? If so this would serve as an excellent route in.
How can I access employers that may be willing to sponsor me? I have visited numerous immigration and employment websites but they all seem to demand a fee to process such queries.
Are my chances more likely in specific regions? We are keen surfers and would like to be close to the sea. I have only visited Perth in Australia, and am aware that most sealife there wants to eat or sting you!
Is my limited work experience likely to hinder my application, or will my MA in planning help my case be sped up?
If anyone could help me answer any of these questions it would be fantastic. Or if anyone knows of any recruitment agencies that may deal with cases like mine that would be useful. My CV is available on request.
Thank you very much