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April 15, 2021

Community Workers and Health & Welfare Service Operators

The relevant authorities predict a massive inclusion in the next immigration jobs lists of not only specialised medical profiles, but also a whole series of support figures who are becoming increasingly important. Contrary to what is generally thought, these support figures are required to undertake very specific training due to the increasingly stringent regulations protecting those who need support.  While the work of Community Workers and Health & Welfare Service operators is often associated with unskilled labour, these days the category is starting to taken on traits akin to those of Social Workers, highly specialised operators in the resolution of social problems.

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Social Worker

To qualify as a Social Worker however, you do have to undergo four years of study at a university. But, in the category of professions that can be practised following a vocational course, we have the figure of the Community Worker. This occupation appears on the Short-Term list of the Skilled Occupation List, allowing its sponsorship in any area of Australia, although only temporary whether for the solo stream or a 482 TSS visa. There are, however, alternative options such as the 190 program in the Northern Territory, the inclusion of the Profession in as many as four DAMA agreements, of which three (South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland) have access pathways to permanent visas and in one state in particular, in South Australia, this is possible to the age of 50.

A point against pursuing a training course of this type in Australia is the inability to apply for the Subclass 485 (Post Graduate) at the end of the courses, as the Profession is not on the Medium-Long Term List. It is also true that most of these courses provide for periods of apprenticeship guaranteed by the schools, and such structures are often willing, to keep students on at the business, if interested, through a visa which can be obtained upon completion of a Diploma in Australia: the Subclass 407 (Training Visa).


It makes sense at this point to also mention a particular figure, that of the counsellor, whose work is that of increasing a client’s awareness with regards to a condition or problems that is affecting their wellbeing. The purpose of the counsellor is, in fact, to prevent the situation in which the perception of malaise becomes pathology. In Australia, counsellors must have a University Qualification to be able to practise, but take care not to confuse this professional with actual medical figures. We are referring to the psychologist and the psychotherapist, who are the individuals who come into play once medical pathologies present themselves. The former is limited to diagnosis, assessments and preventative interventions, while treatments are the exclusive domain of the latter.

These courses also represent a good way of trying out the Australian tertiary education system: the level of difficulty of these Diplomas is actually very similar to the first year of University in Australia, with the difference that there is no way of managing the study plan to your liking, but rather you must follow the outlined program.

Diploma of Community Services
Diploma of Mental Health
Diploma of Counselling

Skill Level: 2
411711: Community Worker (Skill Level 2)
2721 Counsellors (Skill Level 1)

Course program:
(Community Services) https://training.gov.au/TrainingComponentFiles/CHC/CHC52015_R2.pdf
(Mental Health)

Diploma of Community Services

Description: these courses are structured in very similar ways, but specialise in different branches. The Diploma of Community Services focuses on the sociological disciplines and legal regulations. The student learns to empathise and interact with the individual involved in episodes of domestic violence, problems of adaptation to Australia as a new context, and to problems relating to addictions such as alcohol, gambling or drugs. The qualified professional works with the aim of re-introducing their patients into society.

Diploma of Mental Health

Without overlooking the relevant legal aspects, the Diploma of Mental Health offers a very medical style, and also a methodology that draws a lot from the health field. The student learns through ‘cases’, by studying in detail the difficulties encountered daily by those affected by mental pathologies.

Diploma of Counselling

Referring to a Profession which can only be practised with a degree, the Diploma of Counselling arose as a course corresponding to just the first year of University for those who wish to qualify as a counsellor. This Qualification enables the student to learn about subjects aimed at specialist studies and expand key concepts like Mindfulness, Feedback Informed Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Neuropsychology and Positive Psychology. Also very appropriate for those who wish to undertake a University course in psychology, not necessarily in Australia, and start to familiarise themselves with the technical jargon and English terminology.

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