Is this coming year going to be your first year on a Working Holiday visa or were you on a WHV last year as well? did you have a WHV last year as well? I ask because I am wondering how much time we have in hand in order to get you sorted out?
You can be self-employed on a WH Visa but I agree with you. I wouldn't recommend trying to start up and run your own business just yet. You need to work for a couple of local employers and get used to the business of being a Painter & Decorator in Oz for the time being.
Your friend the Plumber can definitely help you. In Oz (and maybe in the UK) Plumbing and Decorating are both thread as being parts of the construction industry. I'm female and I've only ever worked in an office. Your Plumber friend will know how to get you a construction site safety card for SA and he can proably help to identify a TAFE that teaches Painting & Decorating locally, whch TAFE might also either do these RPL assessments or know someone locally who does them.
With a bit of luck, the Plumber will also be able to help you to get a job.
As you know, if you are on a WH visa, you are restricted to working for the same employer for six unbroken months only, For the minute, though, focus on finding the first employer. Nobody is going to agree to hire a youngster in six months time, so I wouldn't try to think more than six months ahead at this stage.
You've asked whether you would be able to get sponsorship for a temporary 457 visa? It does sometimes happen to people on WHVs and it is more likely to happen for WHV holders in the skilled trades rather than in the professions. What often happens is that a guy or girl has just graduated with a degree in something obscure like Quantum Physics, then they get a WHV and go out to Oz. They can't get the sort of work that someone with a degree in Quantum Physics would want (I'm being vague vecause I have no idea what Quantum Physics is! I've merely heard of it!) If one is going to hire a young graduate straight out of university, it will be 12-24 months before s/he is any use to the business, so nobody is interested in hiring a young graudate for 6 months only. These are the youngsters who get peeved because they wouldn't be any use on a construction site either, so they end up working in bars or McJunk outlets, which isn't remotely satisfying intellectually, obviously!
So I think you have a pre-existing skill, it is a trade skill and an employer wouldn't be put off by the fact that he couldn't be sure of having you for more than six months. If you get friendly with an employer, it may well be possible to persuade him to sponsor you for a 457 visa, Don't worry about that too much to start with because if you get get a job and get friendly with the employer, even if he can't sponsor you for a 457 himself, he might know another Painter & Decorator who can.
With 457 visas, ideally you want to work for a company with at least 6 other employees. The reason for this has to do with the details for 457 visas:
The Trades Unions are powerful and militant in Australia, particularly the CFMEU:
The Unions are not keen on 457 visas because they suspect that employers try to use them as a way of getting cheap labour. To counter this objection, the Government requires either that the employer must be training a couple of yogng Aussies as wel or the employer has to pay a capital sum to a local TAFE or something, so that at least he is paying towards training young Aussies even if he is not training them himelf. I'm very uncertain about the details but I think this is the rough gist of it, You need to read the details about the visa and Booklet 9 as well. I've given you the links for them, above.
As they say, the devil is n the detail and with visas, the detail is in the Forms for the visa! So it is worth glancing through the stuff on the DIAC website, plus Booklet 9 PLUS the employer's forms, because ideally you want an employer who will not have any problem with the stuff required of him in the Forms. The website gives you the links for the relevant Forms. There is a brief overview of DIAC's requirements for the employer here:
But don't forget to have a look at the Booklet and the Forms as well!
Sandy & Rhchard Coates in Adelaide are worth bearing in mind, just in case you need their help. Sandy is a recruitment agent, trading as Global Tradesearch:
Sandy is quite good at finding Aussie employers who will agree to sponsor overseas migrants. Her success is partly due to the fact that her husband Richard Coates is a Registered Migration Agent, trading as Celtic Migration:
Most employers in Oz have no more idea about visas for Australia than I have about visas for the UK - ie zero! Sandy & Richard make a good team because between them, they can offer an employer a "one stop shop." Sandy will find the right employee and then Richard will organise the visa for both the Aussie employer and the immigrant employee. By making this promise, they are able to remove a lot of the fears in the mind of an employer who has never sponsored anyone for a visa before, hasn't a clue how to do it, can't justify wasting hours of his own time trying to understand what DIAC want - the employer can't be earning a profit whilst he is bogged down in red tape and so forth.
It is quite understandable that an employer will have these sorts of fears so, left to his own devices, most employers want an employee who does not need their help in order to get a visa. Sandy & Richard are able to overcome a lot of this instinctive unwillingness.
That said, I've heard that they are not cheap. I'm not sure whether Sandy is allowed to charge the prospective employee anything but she more or less insists that Richard must act for the employer and the employee on the visa, so the couple do see to it that they earn their money somehow.
Because it would be expensive to do it via Sandy & Richard, I'd advise you to try to find your own employer by yourself if you can. It does make sense to get an RMA to deal with a 457 visa and they do usually act for both the employer and the employee, but I suspect that Go Matilda would charge less than Richard.
If you manage to find an employer who has sponsored several people before then the chances are that the employer knows an RMA who has acted for him before. If so then leave it to the employer's RMA to act or both of you on the 457 visa. I've never dealt with trying to get a 457 visa for anyone because I'm not a migration agent but the employer's end sounds more fiddly to me than the employee's end of things. so an RMA who knows all about the employer and his business is the obvious Agent to choose.
I think the DIAC have a Policy with 457 visas that the employer must pay the employer's own share of the statutory costs that DIAC charge. Plenty of wannabe immigrants are not above trying to bribe the employer and blah blah. The Government will get it in the neck from the Trades Unions if they allow that, so DIAC have to be seen to be fairly strict about it! The Aussie employer is supposed to be the one with "the problem" - ie, he can't fill the vacancy from the local workforce, so he needs to hire a foreigner instead and to sponsor the foreigner for a visa. The employer is the one with the alleged problem therefore it is reasonable to suppose that he won't mind paying for the visa. His business needs the help, after all. As you can see, there is a fair amount of politicking in the background about 457 visas but if the employer doesn't know about that, don't alarm him by mentioning it!
Also, you still need to start with an AQF III and a TRA skills assessment first and you want it to be the proper TRA pre-migration skills assessment for permanent migration. You do NOT want the JobReady thing which is aimed at graduate ex-International Students who have done the student course in Australia but do not have much hands-on experience of doing the job.
This bit is important because the TRA assessment proves to DIAC that you genuinely are a skilled tradesman and not just a mate of the employer! If an Aussie employer can get by with a foreigner who doesn't even have an AQF III and a TRA skills assessment, why shouldn't the employer hire an equally unskilled (apparently) young Aussie instead? If you were 45 and had been a Painter & Decorator for over 20 years, had been running your own business in another country etc then there is room for manoevre with DIAC. In that situation, one can argue that this wonderfully experienced foreigner can help to train young Aussies as well as doing the job.
However with someone as young as you, one can't use this sort of argument, hence I think it is foolish to try to approach DIAC unless you already have an AQF III and a TRA skills assessment. That way, DIAC can't bicker and like any other Government Department, not giving them a chance to bicker is a good start!
Please see my next post........