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5 Things Overseas Electricians Should Know About Trades Recognition Australia

5 Things Overseas Electricians Should Know About Trades Recognition Australia

Life in WA has a lot going for it. Amazing beaches, sensational food & wine, fantastic natural beauty, brilliant weather and a laid-back lifestyle - it’s no wonder that so many people from overseas choose to move here! In fact, official figures state that expats make up over 35% of the state’s population.

This means that there are quite a few people out there who may have completed an electrical apprenticeship in their country of origin and would like to practice their trade here in Australia. 

There’s lots of advice flying around the internet (including quite a few misleading myths), so we decided to sort the facts from fiction and find out what electricians from overseas should know about having their trade recognised here in WA.

If this is you, make sure you check out this blog post.

Be Recognised

There is some truth to having your trade recognised through RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). However, the actual process of having your trade recognised is based on having completed an electrical apprenticeship. 

Unless you’ve undertaken an apprenticeship before coming to Australia, or completed the equivalent in on the job training for a period greater than six years, then you won’t qualify. 

The exact process for each pathway can be found here.

You Don’t Have To Do It Again

This is true, you don’t have to do your apprenticeship again. However, there is a process to go through before you’ll qualify for an unrestricted license to work as an electrician in Australia.

After a candidate has provided sufficient evidence and has been issued an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR), they can apply for a provisional Electrical Workers Licence. 

One of the provisions of this license is to undertake the Minimum Australian Context Gap training course while working as an electrician here in WA. 

After demonstrating 12 months of local experience, the provisional licence holder can then sit the Capstone assessment. If successful, you’ll then qualify for a full, unrestricted licence.

Same Same But Different

A Provisional Licence and a Restricted Licence are very different. 

A Provisional Licence allows the holder to work as an electrician. If you have one, you can be employed and work under the general supervision of an electrical contractor. This means you can work unsupervised, but initially, your work will need to be checked more often. 

As you gain Australian installation experience, this supervision can be relaxed. There is no restriction on the types of electrical work you can do (other than those which any EW license holder is restricted to). 

In contrast to this, a restricted licence only allows for disconnect and reconnect work.

Not All Are Created Equal

By this we mean not all RTOs and TAFEs can assess someone for an OTSR. Only Trades Recognition Australia-approved RTOs can assess someone for an OTSR.

At CET, we’re proud to be a recognised RTO that can help electricians from overseas become qualified to work in Australia.

The Standards Are High

This is true. Australia has some of the strictest rules around electrical licensing, with all electricians having to demonstrate competency in 55 essential performance areas.

The Trades Recognition Pathways reinforce these requirements. All candidates have to initially demonstrate that they were an installation sparky in their previous country. Then, after having completed a year of training and experience in Australia, they have to sit the same Capstone exam an apprentice does to become fully qualified. 

The system is audited and key stakeholders, including industry and employee representative organisations, the Electrical Licensing Board and Trades Recognition Australia, all monitor the different programs. Safe to say – any sparky that has come through the TRA system has met the standard that we all expect of a tradie in WA.

Get Qualified To Work In WA With Us!

As we mentioned before, working as an electrician in WA could be your ticket to getting the most out of life in this fantastic state. If you’ve worked as an electrician overseas and want to learn more about becoming qualified to work in Australia, click here for more info about Trades Recognition Australian, or get in touch with our friendly team today.

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