Thought I would share my Adelaide experience with everyone. Hope it's useful, without being negative, to those planning or thinking of moving to Adelaide.
My girlfriend and I arrived in Adelaide in October 2013. I had spent a working holiday in Melbourne about 7 years previously and always had the intention of returning one day. I arrived on a 190 visa sponsored by South Australia (I am a HR practitioner of around 5/6 years experience) and my girlfriend (a recently qualified pediatric nurse) arrived on a working holiday visa as we hadn't been together very long by the time I had started my visa application so it wasn't really feasible to apply together.
I/we chose Adelaide because I thought it was the best option I had available as only NT and ACT were offering sponsorship for HR people. I had spent around a week there during my previous time in Oz and although it was completely different to Melbourne I could see why people were/are attracted to it. Loved the open space and park/river around the city perimeter, nice beaches, wine regions and great climate.
I had done some research into the jobs market before I arrived but due to my profession it was difficult/impossible to secure anything before arrival. I was nervous about finding work as it isn't as transferable as some professions. However I thought because of my girlfriend's profession she would be in work without difficulty and even be able to secure sponsorship for a work visa almost as easily, we had been told as much but in hindsight we were naive to the reality awaiting us.
Within a month of arriving I was able to secure a 5 month contract however this was in the public sector which I had not experience in previously so I did wonder how things would work out, however I started work with a positive attitude, an open mind and a commitment to make it work. My girlfriend was still awaiting her nursing registration to come through (even though she had applied for this 3 months before our departure). This would eventually come through 3 months after we arrived (I could start a separate thread about this alone but will spare you all) - any nurses reading this please take note!
So fast forward to January 2014, I had been in work a couple of months and still trying to adjust to the Australian and public sector workplace - really was a bit of a double whammy! I was struggling a bit and had started to get the feeling I wasn't impressing my boss sufficiently for the work to become longer term, which made me slightly anxious. My girlfriend had finally received her nursing registration but had not dealt with the waiting around for this that well, she was pretty frustrated. She was really looking forward to starting work however even before the registration was granted she had done enough research into the market understand the reality was nursing work was thin on the ground in Adelaide. She is only paeds trained so her range of options was narrowed somewhat. The 'Bank' or 'Pool' at all the Children's hospitals were full and not admitting any more staff and there were no permanent jobs. She was registered with both agencies that put staff into the Children's hospitals but didn't get a single shift. It wasn't looking positive work wise. It got worse when she was called on 3/4 occasions by an agency for a shift only for the shift to be cancelled before she arrived at the hospital . She had kept a little money coming in by doing some part time child minding and had even tried her hand at door to door sales
Work problems aside we really both began to love Adelaide and the lifestyle, we had made a small circle of friends with a few expats and all in all were having a good time which had made me long for us both to secure steady employment and settle into life properly. We were living in West Beach in shared house with a couple of others but this made living very cheap and comfortable even on just the one income. We had a pool in the back yard, we were 5 mins walk from West Beach and just 20 mins walk from Henley pier. Despite the poor outlook work wise we were chuffed about where we were living.
However at the beginning of March we really had to assess whether staying in Adelaide seeing if work opportunities developed would be the best strategy. My girlfriend had just 6 months left on her WHV and wasn't keen or 3 months agricultural work. So she only had another 6 months to secure sponsorship. My work contract was looking unlikely to extend beyond the end of March with other opportunities looking hard to come by. I was really worried that if we stayed we would be on a plane back to the UK by October '14. We came to realise we didn't have much option but to look elsewhere for work opportunities, we were prepared to go anywhere within reason but it was the likes of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane would be the places most likely to provide work opportunities. Within 2/3 weeks of looking we had both been offered jobs in Sydney and we felt as though we didn't have much of alternative and we made the move during April '14. We both now have longer term work prospects and are pretty happy with how things are, however Sydney is very expensive to buy and for that reason I can't see us being here long term. I am hopeful one day we will be able to return to Adelaide.
If anyone is reading this from the UK making plans to move to Adelaide, be prepared to persevere (should your visa situation allow) if things do not to slot into place within a few months because it is a great place. I am sure you can see that reading most of the posts on here but when I was at home reading the same posts I tended to think 'Oh I'll be fine, I'll get a job and it will work out'. Research the industry you are in and find out what the Adelaide labour market is like, how directly transferable is your skill? Ask you yourself whether you are prepared change careers or go into a lower skilled job to pick up local work experience so you are better positioned for the job you want. If it is an option open to you, consider another city as a 'stepping stone' to Adelaide while the local economy picks up. The larger cities like Sydney, Melbourne and maybe Brisbane could be a kinder environment for a recently arrived immigrant and might 'the percentage bet' for a long term migration.