Few international students realise how important a professional year course can be when they are planning to apply for permanent residency in Australia. These courses make crucial points and countless opportunities available. Leaving either or both of these on the table can dramatically limit your options.
So, what is a Professional year course?
This is a twelve-month course that can be undertaken upon completion of a Bachelor or Master degree course in accounting, IT or engineering in Australia.
During the course you learn various skills, including C.V preparation and interviewing skills. Best of all, there is a four-week placement as part of the program, which sees you placed with
an Australian company, where you will be given the chance to learn and apply professional skills that are in demand in today’s business world.
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Benefits of undertaking the course
This course is undertaken by International students primarily to gain the extra five points that can be claimed upon completion and plays an important role to receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to apply for permanent residency in Australia.
A professional year course, thanks to the exposure to professional life, is a great way to step into the corporate world. Graduates who prove they are highly skilled and motivated are often able to turn this placement into an offer of employment. The exposure, training, and opportunities often prove to be invaluable.
Successful completion of this course also helps to gain a positive skills assessment for IT and Accounting graduates which is required to apply for Permanent Residency.
Although, the purpose of this course is to provide practical professional exposure and training in one’s relevant occupation, graduates do not necessarily experience these benefits.
There could be a number of reasons for this including course providers not being able to find businesses who are willing to participate in the placement that is required to complete the course. To meet the requirements, course providers send more students than are required to fill the placements in the limited number of companies with whom they have placement agreements.
Participating businesses might not be able to afford having staff away from their normal work and train students. In these cases, students do not learn during placements.
There have also been cases where participating businesses have been accused of getting students to work in areas that are not relevant to their occupation. According to Fair Work Australia (a government body responsible for ensuring that every employee in Australia receives what they are entitled to), students who participate in unpaid work placements as part of this program should not be undertaking any productive work.
Many graduates also look to enrol in a Professional year course from a course provider who offers the cheapest fees. They feel that the course content and the result of gaining the five points is the same irrelevant to the course provider. In fact, this reason is as far from reality as it can be. The quality of the course provided by course providers differs drastically. Course providers charging higher fees are able to afford better trainers and able to send students to participating companies where appropriate practical training will be provided due to their affordability of getting higher number of host companies.
Criteria to apply for Professional year course
This course is only available for graduates who have completed their Bachelor or Masters degree course in accounting, IT or Engineering in Australia.
Graduates must also have applied for a 485 visa subclass to enrol in this course.
Many graduates do not realise the importance of enroling in a Professional year course as soon as they complete their Bachelor or Master Degree. They want to work as hard as they can after the completion of their course with the intention of either recovering the substantial fees that they paid for their course or save for the future. Many of them also want to relax after struggling for long as students.
This can be disastrous as the duration of a Professional year course is twelve months and takes up much of the two year visa period granted under the 485 visa subclass. There will not be enough time to apply for permanent residency if you do not start the course early as you also need to meet a number of other requirements including receiving an invitation from the DIBP to apply.
Planning is important to become an Australian Permanent Resident. Enrolling in Professional Year courses as soon as completing the Bachelor or Master degree can make the difference between being able to apply for permanent residency and having to either return to your home country or enroling in another course to prolong your stay in Australia.
Chetan Zabde has been working as a migration consultant since 2003. He has published a book “7 Steps to Permanent Residency in Australia”. This book is a guide to help students gain permanent residency in Australia.
You can get a copy of this book at http://settleinaustralia.com.au/
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