Author Archives: Inwork International


I am regularly contacted by business clients who are frustrated with their employees who refuse to talk to them and cannot follow instructions.

When asked about a recent conversation with a particular employee, one client described how the employee had not understood a set of instructions that had been given and as a consequence had not completed a task correctly.

When I then questioned the employee about this particular instruction I received an entirely different comprehension of what was said.

With a proper understanding of exactly what communication means, these dilemmas can be avoided completely.

Communication has two main components: Language and Culture. One cannot exist without the other.

If this is a common challenge in your workplace, try asking your employee to repeat the instruction they have been given.

What you will hear them say will greatly affect the way you convey information to them in the future.

Author: Ralph Hunter

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Future Proof your Business

Why are we stuck in a time warp when it comes to hiring?

Yes, I do remember a time when you could place an advertisement in a newspaper if an employee left or was dismissed from your company. Within a couple of days you would be flooded with job applications and from there it was easy.
Just go through the replies and pick out the three you would want to interview and then select the best one. Simple!
Oh wow, wouldn’t it be great to bring back that good old system. But we can’t do that any more for many reasons, the most important being we simply do not have enough skilled Aussies to fill all the jobs. Right now our economy is growing faster than we can produce Aussies in the job market, now and in the future.
This means we need to think and plan ahead for our workforce. We now have to plan for people leaving our businesses well ahead of them actually going, as well as having resources in place to fill these positions quickly.

Time to start thinking outside the box. Plan ahead, don’t get caught.

Author: Ralph Hunter

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The Bump Shop

After many years of enduring the continuing problem of finding and keeping suitable tradesman for our company I finally called Ralph Hunter from In Work International. As it turns out, this was one of the best calls I have made in the last 4 years as I now have 6 Philipino tradesmen working for The Bump Shop. These tradesmen are happily coming to work on time every day and I no longer wake up every day wondering ‘who is not going to turn up for work today’.

Ralph and the team at In Work International are always contactable should I have any concerns and since commencing with this service I have recommended them to a number of other businesses who have also had a similar experience.

I, therefore, would highly recommend Ralph and In Work International to anyone looking to employ skilled tradesmen from overseas.

Paul Jennings


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Five Dock Volkswagen and Leichhardt Volkswagen

I have had the opportunity to work with a few skilled Immigration Visa specialists who work closely with skilled tradespeople abroad and assist bringing them into our Country, Very Few, however, are as accommodating and do what they say they will every time through such a complicated process. Bringing in Skilled specialist technicians pinpointed to specific requirements and skillset levels can be very daunting, Ralph and the Team at Inwork International really take out all the complexities and make the process seamless, I cannot express enough… if you are searching for a skilled tradesperson for your business and are having difficulty finding the best person for you, call Ralph – He will get the hard work done while you can go about running your business.

– Nick Karas
Five Dock Volkswagen and Leichhardt Volkswagen

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Just Tell it Like It Is

Job interviews can be a harrowing enough experience without the self imposed burden of trying to cover up a bad previous job situation without really lying.

It is a well known fact that people will lie in a job interview when the truth would have served them better. Nine times out of ten the person interviewing will ‘smell a rat’ when you start your well rehearsed cover story but will say nothing at the time.

Why do we do this?

Employers are human too, and often relate to your past employment difficulties better than you think and this may just go in your favour.
In any case it is better to have ‘told it like it is’ and get accepted on your merits than be rejected and never know whether your ‘story’ was really acceptable.

Believe me, I have heard all the ‘stories’ and none of them end well.

Don’t cheat yourself out of a job, ‘just tell it like it is’.

Author: Ralph Hunter

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The Lost Generation

Never before in Australian history have our young people been so confused.

“I have done my study and completed my degree, so why won’t anyone give me a job?”

I hear the same story all the time and it saddens me every time I hear it.
“Nobody told me I wouldn’t be able to find employment when I finished my course!”
No wonder we are desperately short of skilled tradespeople. Young people leaving school are hoodwinked into believing that the higher the education level, the greater chance of a job.


Since when do the educational institutions dictate what is needed in business & commerce in Australia?

Since when do the politicians and government along with the banks know where the jobs are? Yet we watch the news and blindly follow predictions and statistics blasted at us on TV about what we should be doing, instead of getting out there and finding out for ourselves.

Young people have no idea how to do this and so they are vulnerable to these media suggestions which are generally only 25% correct.

THIS, is one of the major reasons why we have massive skill shortages and, unfortunately,  it is not going to get any better in the short term.

Message to all young people leaving school:

Follow your instincts
Listen to your heart
Explore the possibilities
Never say no
Do your research
Talk to your parents
Make your decision
Stick to it

Author: Ralph Hunter

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Here we are in a world with extreme skill shortages in an international skills race where skills and experience carries a high price tag and we are literally watching the best tradesmen and professionals in the world walk off into the retirement sunset.

We aren’t even trying to harness this critical resource to help train the younger more inexperienced workers.

I am constantly amazed at how management waves goodbye to someone who has been the backbone of their business for decades and then complain that the ‘greener’ professionals have not got the where-with-all to do the job.

These ‘Baby Boomer’ professionals are mostly between the ages of 55 and 70 years of age and most of them can’t work out why they are being pensioned off. Frankly so am I!

Understandably, there may be some restrictions in certain industries however I haven’t yet seen anything that cannot be overcome. Some industries are suffering chronic shortages and yet it has not dawned on them to use this rich resource to their advantage.

I learnt my trade from a 60 and 65 year old and have been cited many times to be the best at what I do, and this is why – I learnt from the masters. I learnt to fly from a 71 year old who I believe was sharper than me! My doctor was 75 before he decided that he didn’t want to work anymore so he hung up his stethoscope.

When I fly with an airline anywhere in the world I would like the reassurance that whoever is in the cockpit has the experience to get me to where I am going safely. It would also be reassuring to know that he was giving the benefit of this experience to a younger pilot at the same time. In the same way when I get my new home built I would like to have the construction supervised by someone with many years experience.

So, where does that leave our younger generation who cannot gain employment because they do not have sufficient experience.

A tradesman/professional is an equal combination of two things, qualifications and experience. Without one of these two components you cannot gain employment in any given industry. The latter is where there is a huge gap internationally.

CEOs and management need to understand the following formulas:



The biggest crime of the last two decades is encouraging our young people to gain an education in industries where they will never find work.

Author: Ralph Hunter


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4 Essentials of Life

In order for a person to survive anywhere on earth they must have three essential commodities: food, water and shelter.

These are the basics for sustaining life.

In order for a job seeker to survive an increasingly demanding Australian workforce and sustain employment, there is one more essential – a driver’s licence.

For those not familiar with the Australian environment we are a nation that is not clustered in high density in a small confined area, but generally speaking, spread like vegemite – thinly over a wide area. This is because we have lots of available space. However, it comes at a price to our young jobseekers. Unfortunately our infrastructure is such that we do not have enough available transport and a high percentage of the workforce must drive to work.

As a result of road fatalities in mainly the 17 – 25yr old age bracket, requirements for gaining a driver’s licence have become tougher and tougher. Only a few short years ago a young person could get his or her driver’s licence within 6 months with maybe only 20 hours as a learner driver. Now they must complete at least 100 hours of supervised instruction/practice, submitting a logbook to Government authorities before actually taking a driving test. The cost to the learner for this whole process can be anywhere from $4000 to $7500 depending on how much assistance they receive along the way. This figure would increase greatly should there be any decision to increase the number of supervised practice hours that has been discussed already.

For a young person this can be prohibitive even for those with a part time job. For those who have parents ‘game’ enough to venture in the family car with their learner at the wheel out onto the OPEN ROAD, they will find it somewhat easier financially. However, this places enormous strain on family relationships. I have known of grown men who have undertaken therapy after such experiences.

The point I am making here is that we have now introduced another major requirement into our job seekers portfolio – a driver’s licence. It again widens the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. If a job seeker does not have a driver’s licence, let alone a car, it reduces the number of jobs they can apply for by 50%. Among those jobs requiring a driver’s licence, 60% will need a manual driver’s licence, not the automatic driver’s licence that a lot of young people find easier to manage.

So, where to from here? Safe and alive versus employed and independent?

This is a tough decision for our young people.

My question is, where is our government dollar best spent? High level industry training programs? Or helping these people get to work in the first place?

No real point in having a qualification if you can’t get to work or not able to drive in your job.

Aren’t we putting the cart before the horse again?


Ralph Hunter

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Tradies to Become First Class Graduates from Secondary Education

“They are dirty, sometimes smelly and quite often very noisy”.

Believe it or not this was a comment from someone during a street-side interview on television recently!

For far too long society has held the view that anyone who graduates from high school and becomes a tradesman is regarded as a second class outcome and therefore they (including the author) are second class citizens.

Yes, you guessed it, the first class outcomes are those who graduate from high school and go to university. After all isn’t that what going to Year 12 is all about?

Somewhere back there, about thirty years ago, we completely lost the ‘educational plot’ and somehow brainwashed everyone to believe that Year 12 + University Education = Success. Therefore, Year 12 + Trade Training must = Failure? That’s right, that’s exactly how we all felt and how we are still treated.

Let me give you some facts which might surprise you:

• Electricians now need Maths B to at least B+ level in Year 12 to even be competitive in an apprenticeship interview.

• Car Mechanics are now called Automotive Technicians and will generally do a 4 year Apprenticeship which will include Auto Electrics and then will qualify with 2 trades. Their training includes extensive computer/electronics studies.

• Builders these days face extremely complex codes and regulations which are a part of their Trade Training (so that your house doesn’t fall down).

• Chefs must undertake at least 5 – 10 years training and experience and pass through at least six levels of Cookery before being recognised as a Chef.

These are just a few examples of us second class citizens who actually keep the country running.

No wonder we have mounting skill shortages. I have counselled students and their parents who have been in a quandary as to what their sons and daughters should do when faced with the dilemma of choosing a career.

So what is a Career? Is that taking up a Trade? So what is a Vocation? And what is a Profession?

Did you know that Airline Pilots are not classified as a Profession? No, apparently they are under the same classification as a Train Driver and why not I say.

What a crazy situation we have created for our children leaving school. If I finish Year 12 and want to become a Baker, or Butcher or House Painter is this going to be okay? Will Mum and Dad be angry? Will they let me?

No wonder we have no Tradesmen left!

As a result of chronic and growing skill shortages in Australia, Tradies are about to become First Class Graduates and First Class Citizens.


Ralph Hunter

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Queenslanders avoid hailstorms as no Panel Beaters to fix cars.

Severe storms are causing motorists to stay at home due to longer waiting times to repair cars.

As skill shortages continue to grow across Australia motorists are taking more precautions to avoid storm and hail damage to their cars.

The Smash Repair industry is in the grip of a nation wide shortage of Panel Beaters and Spray Painters as a result of schools refusing to introduce young people to this ongoing and lucrative trade.

While schools persist in introducing students to construction trades such as woodworking and metalworking, the Smash Repair industry has all but tried up for local talent.

Employers are turning to 457 Visa holders to fill the gaps in their businesses to be able to overcome the shortfall and keep their doors open. This situation is a short term solution to a very long term problem as the speed at which the shortages are growing far exceed Australia’s ability to import workers.

In a country that runs on wheels it is devastating to see second, third and sometimes fourth generation businesses having to close their doors due to not being able to find local talent. In most cases, these businesses are experiencing a growth in their work expectation that cannot be met with current staffing resources.

We need the educational institutions and parents working together with business and industry to recognize exactly what is going on in our own business communities and encouraging young people to take up these trades.

The Smash Repair industry offers long term, well paid jobs giving security for workers and their families.

How does your job security compare to this?

Ralph Hunter

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