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Not only does the extra income help supplement your lifestyle, but the addition of hands-on work experience in Australia can improve your English and benefit your career opportunities at home. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and make friends.

Whether you are seeking part-time or casual employment, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as an international student worker. 

Working in Queensland

Competition for part-time or casual jobs can be high, so it’s important to know how to maximise your chances of finding a job with a Queensland employer. Do you know what skills and attributes you have that would make you a good employee? As an international student, you might have some unique skills to give you a competitive edge in the workplace, such as language skills, cultural sensitivity, or the ability to adapt quickly in a new environment.

Think about how your skill set can apply to different industries. Some specific types of work popular with international students in Queensland include: 

  • Hospitality – fast food, hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, or food delivery services
  • Retail – specialty stores, department stores, supermarkets, or warehouses
  • Farming and fruit picking – seasonal work in regional areas - https://www.qld.gov.au/about/pickqld
  • Services – aged care, cleaning or childcare services
  • Administrative and clerical work
  • Tutoring

Learn as much as you can about the Queensland recruitment process and research your target industry.

Employability 

Employability is about more than just getting a job. It is the combination of your discipline-specific knowledge, transferable skills, experience, and attitudes that make you more employable.

During your studies, you can build your employability skills through the Launch U program. Launch U gives you access to a wide variety of online and face-to-face experiences and programs designed to help develop your professional capabilities.

Using the Launch U e-Portfolio, you can identify, capture, and present evidence of gaining these skills to earn a Queensland Government-backed digital badge to help you launch your global career.

Register for Launch U at www.launch.qld.gov.au

Know your workplace rights

It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities when you begin working. As an international student, you are protected by Australian law while working in Australia. This means you have the same protections at work as anyone else. 

Australia has a minimum wage, which means you are entitled to at least the scheduled amount per hour, no matter what job you choose. You also have rights to sick days, vacation days, other leave entitlements and workplace health and safety. 

For more information on workplace rights, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Check your visa conditions

On a student visa you are eligible to work up to 20 hours a week, so make sure your hours of work match these conditions. Your employment must also begin after your study program has commenced. During holiday periods, you can extend your hours to work full time (unlimited hours). It’s important to keep to these conditions. Check your VEVO as these are general conditions only and may differ for each individual. 

Apply for a Tax File Number

If you plan to work in Australia, you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) before you start. It’s free, and you only need to do it once. Give your TFN to your boss when you start, and you will be taxed at the appropriate rate. Without it, you’ll pay more tax, which means less money in your pocket. You can apply for a TFN easily through the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.

If you are self-employed, you will also need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). However, if you are working for a boss in a fixed location and have a regular shift each week, you will likely only require a TFN.

Superannuation

Super, or superannuation, is a term to describe the way Australians save money for their retirement. As an international student working in Australia, you are entitled to superannuation contributions from your employer. These payments are deducted from your income and transferred to a superannuation fund on your behalf. Before you depart Australia, you can claim and take this money with you. 

You can either open up a superannuation account yourself, or have your employer nominate a fund on your behalf. If you don’t know where your superannuation money is, ask your employer which fund they paid money into for you.

You can find more information on the Australian Taxation Office website about how to claim your super before you leave the country

Where to look for a job in Queensland

Websites such as Seek, Jobs Finder or the Qld Jobs Board are a good place to start your job hunt. You can also look at your university job boards, Facebook groups or visit a local employment centre.

For more information or support about finding a job, you can talk to your education provider or get in contact with the Student Support Officers on the Queensland Student Hub.