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Skills assessment through Trades Recognition Australia – Skilled Worker Program

The contents of this article are correct as at 18 April 2010.

On 1 January 2010, Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), a skills assessment authority for Australia’s General Skilled Migration program, introduced 2 alternate skills assessment programs for trade qualifications.

  1. Job Ready Program
  2. Skilled Worker Program

The Job Ready Program is a long, protracted and costly process for skilled migration applicants who have completed their trade qualifications in Australia.

This article addresses the Skilled Worker Program pathway.


The Skilled Worker Program assessment criteria apply to applicants who are
applying for a trades occupation skills assessment for a residence visa:

  • Under the General Skilled Migration program from outside Australia; or
  • Under the General Skilled Migration program from within Australia but do not hold an Australian qualification based on studies undertaken in Australia; or
  • Under employer sponsored arrangements (eg the Employer Nomination Scheme).


The Skilled Worker Program is a skills assessment program for trade occupations within the Skilled Occupation List and the Employer Nomination Skilled Occupation List.

Under the Skilled Worker Program, TRA assesses the applicant’s occupation by comparing their training and employment experience with the requirements of the Skilled Worker Program Assessment Criteria (SWPAC).

The SWPAC has four Skill Pathways. For the application to be successful, the applicant must show that their training and employment experience meets one of these Skill Pathways.

The requirements for each of the Skill Pathways are summarised below.


Documents needed

Applicants are required to provide the following documents to support their application.

  • Proof of identity (birth certificate, passport identity page, or official government identification).
  • Proof of completion of an apprenticeship or traineeship and/or
  • Proof of any formal training, AQF qualification or AQF workplace assessment.
  • Detailed proof of relevant employment.
  • Names and contact details to enable TRA to confirm all claims and documents.
  • Proof of any industrial or occupational licensing or registration.


There is an application fee of $300 AUD per application.

Processing Time

According to TRA, most applications are assessed within 30 working days.

It should be noted that applicants resident in India, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, South Africa or the Philippines, will need to have their skills assessments coordinated by Vetassess for the following occupations: general electrician, general plumber, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, motor mechanic, carpenter and joiner, carpenter, joiner, electrical powerline tradesperson, cable jointer, or bricklayer; and supervisory occupations relating to these trades.

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