Job Ready Program (JRP) FAQs

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Job Ready Employment (JRE)

1. What are the main changes to the JRP from 1 July 2023?

All changes come into effect on 1 July 2023. Please read the Job Ready Program Applicant Guidelines (Guidelines) fully and carefully before you apply.

The more significant changes are:

  • Introduction of a maximum period of three (3) years to complete the JRP.
  • Agents may assist participants throughout all steps of the JRP, however the applicant’s personal contact details must be registered for the JRE and JRWA steps which require direct contact.
  • Clarification of the requirements for decision-ready applications and the consequences of incomplete or not decision-ready applications.
  • Amended JRE eligibility requirements.
  • Amended the employment requirement to clarify it is a minimum of 12 months of full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid employment. Full-time means you are working an average of 38 hours per week.
  • Updated the consequences for fraudulent activities including the possibility of a mandated JRWA reassessment.

2. I have forgotten my password and have been locked out of the TRA Online Portal, what should I do now?

You can reset your password by clicking on the link ‘Forgotten your password?’ on the TRA Online Portal and answering the security questions you created when you registered your account.

If you have forgotten your Username or Password, please contact Trades Recognition Australia at TRAEnquiries@dewr.gov.au. Please include your full name and TRA reference number in your email.

From 29 June 2023, TRA introduced mandatory multi-factor authentication (MFA) to the TRA Online Portal which requires entering a One Time Passcode that will be sent to the email address a user registered with when logging into the TRA Online Portal. Only one email address can be used, therefore applicants and agents who do not share the same email address will need to decide which email address to register to receive the One Time Passcode.

4. Can I use my migration agent or other representative for the JRP?

Yes. If a migration agent or representative assists you, the agent or representative details must be provided when the relevant JRP application is submitted online. The JRE and JRWA steps of the program need regular contact between TRA and yourself. All communications will be sent to your personal email address registered in your application.

  • If you would like to use the same migration agent or representative who was listed on your PSA application, please note you will need to nominate them again at time of JRE registration via the TRA Online Portal.

If an agent or representative set up your account on the TRA Online Portalyou need to ensure you also have access to your online account. You are still responsible for providing accurate information in your application and actively participating in the program. Miscommunication with your agent is not an acceptable reason for providing misleading information or not responding to TRA.

An Agent Nomination Form must be completed and uploaded in the TRA Online Portal each time a new migration agent or representative is appointed. Information provided on the form will replace any previous migration agent or representative details held on an applicant’s TRA file. The Department of Home Affairs provides advice about the use of migration agents in Australia.

5. What type of visa do I need to be eligible for the JRP?

TRA does not provide visa advice. Visa documents are no longer required in your JRP application. It is your responsibility to ensure that you maintain a valid visa to stay and work in Australia. It is important that you know the rules for your visa. Your visa may limit the type of work you can do in Australia. Some visas have rules about how many hours you can work, or what job you can do. For more information, please contact the Department of Home Affairs and Fair Work

6. What are the employment requirements for the JRP?

To be eligible for a JRP outcome, you must complete at least 12 months of full-time (or equivalent part-time) paid employment with a TRA approved employer/s. The 12-month period commences from your JRE Start Date.

Full-time means you are working an average of 38 hours per week. Part-time employment, periods of unemployment and/or extended leave will mean it takes you longer to complete the program.

When you submit your JRE application online, you must:

  • be employed in the occupation nominated in your application
  • be working with the employer you are registering,
  • be in the same occupation you were assessed for to obtain a successful PSA or JRPRE.

7. Can I submit my application and supporting documents by email?

No. Applications for all steps of the JRP must be submitted online through the TRA Online Portal and any required supporting documentation must be uploaded at the time of the application.

An application can only be submitted online once all the mandatory fields are completed, the required documentation is uploaded, and the application fee payment made.

8. How do I submit my Employment Verification Reports (EVRs), Skills Progress Reports (SPRs) and pay evidence to TRA?

All supporting documents must be full colour scan of the original documents and uploaded in PDF format through the Document Uploads link on the TRA Online Portal.

Supporting documents include:

  • Skills Progress Reports (SPRs)
  • Employment Verification Reports (EVRs)
  • Pay Evidence
  • Passport Identification pages
  • Change of details forms
  • Review forms
  • Any other required documentation

9. Do I need to supply a JRE Employer Registration Form?

No.

Employers and nominated supervisors are no longer required to sign an Employer Registration Form. Instead, an employer and nominated supervisor will need to sign the Employment Verification Report (EVR), which includes their agreement to supporting your participation in the program.

The EVR must be uploaded in the TRA Online Portal as a part of your online application or if you register a new employer.

An EVR for most occupations is available on the TRA website. If the EVR for your occupation is not available, please email jrpenquiries@dewr.gov.au.

10. When will I be contacted by a TRA program officer?

The JRP is experiencing a high number of applications. As a result, the average processing times are longer than expected.

You will be contacted once your employment, hours and associated documents have been reviewed and your application processed. To support a fair process, TRA standard practice is to progress applications in order of receipt.

TRA does not expect this to affect how long it will take to complete all stages of the JRP.

11. Can I use any employer for the JRE?

For your employment to be eligible for JRP, it must be registered, verified, and approved by TRA.

You must be working with the employer when you complete and submit the employer registration in the TRA Online Portal. Your employer must be prepared to agree to the JRP requirements as listed in the Job Ready Program Applicant Guidelines and complete an Employment Verification Report (EVR). See section 3.1.8 of these Guidelines for more details.

12. Can I claim work I did before I applied for the JRP?

Yes. You can claim up to three months of unbroken paid employment where the employment was undertaken immediately before applying for the Job Ready Employment step of the JRP. Your employment cannot have been used for a PSA assessment. This can only be claimed at the time of submitting your JRE application online. If your JRE application was deemed invalid, eligible prior employment will commence from the date your application is determined by TRA to be ‘decision ready’.

To claim prior employment, you must provide complete your JRE online application and provide TRA with acceptable employment evidence for the period being claimed.

13. If I am working as a contractor or am self-employed, can I apply for the JRE?

The JRP requires participants to be supervised by a qualified tradesperson in an Australian workplace.

TRA may consider subcontractor work if the nominated occupation in your online application satisfies eligibility requirements under Section 3.1.8 of the Job Ready Program Applicant Guidelines.

You must be able to complete at least 6 months of full-time equivalent paid employment with a single contractor who is willing to sign your EVR and SPR as if they were your supervisor.

14. Can I change employer or have more than one employer?

Yes, but you cannot exceed five employers and at least 6 months of full-time equivalent paid employment must be completed with one employer.

Each employer must be registered on the TRA Online Portal with a completed EVR uploaded for TRA to review. New employer arrangements will only count toward your JRP participation from the date they are registered in the TRA Online Portal.

15. Do I have to pay the JRE fee for every employer I register with TRA?

No. You only need to pay your JRE application fee.

16. Can I use employment I undertook outside Australia?

No. All employment under the JRP must be undertaken within Australia.

17. How do I find an employer?

TRA cannot assist you with finding employment. It is your responsibility to find appropriate employment.

19. When will my hours be updated in the online portal?

Your hours will be updated in the online portal twice during your participation in the JRP. The first update is when you meet the eligibility criteria for JRWA, and the second update occurs when TRA determines you meet the eligibility criteria for JRFA. The updated hours will be reflected as 863 hours and 1725 hours, which may not correspond to the exact number of hours you have completed. Rather, these numbers indicate that you have fulfilled the requirements necessary to progress to the next step.

20. I’ve claimed prior employment, but my JRE start date has not been updated

Your JRE Start Date will be amended in the TRA Online Portal if your employment arrangements are approved by TRA, and the prior employment claim is accepted. To support a fair process, TRA will process documentation in order of receipt.

TRA will notify you if your claim is not accepted. (See Section 3.1.5 of the Job Ready Program Applicant Guidelines).

21. What wage should I expect to be paid?

Your employer would be expected to pay you the appropriate award wage for your trade according to the award relevant to your industry and occupation. More information on industry awards under the national workplace relations system is available on the Fair Work website.

22. What if my employer does not provide payslips?

It is a legal requirement that all employers in Australia provide their employees with payslips. Please refer to Fair Work Ombudsman website for information about your entitlements in Australia. Please note: to be eligible for JRP, your employment must be verifiable by TRA.

23. Can I finish my JRP in less than 12 months?

No.

The JRP cannot be completed in less than twelve (12) calendar months. The twelve (12)-month period commences from your JRE Start Date. Your participation in the JRP is complete once you receive the official JRFA outcome letter confirming your successful outcome. It is important to maintain your employment arrangements until you have received the official JRFA outcome letter.

Please note that paid and unpaid leave, such as annual leave and sick leave, are not counted as work hours.

24. What is a Skills Progress Report (SPR)?

A Skills Progress Report (SPR) is a self-assessment record of the skills and activities you have undertaken in your workplace as you develop your skills in your occupation.

If you have not yet achieved a successful JRWA you must provide a SPR under any of the following circumstances:

  • you have worked with an employer for more than six months since your JRE Start Date
  • you are ending your employment with an employer you had previously registered
  • TRA requests a SPR.

The SPR must be the current version available on TRA’s website, confirmed and signed by the supervisor or employer recorded in your online employer registration.

Completed SPRs will be provided to the TRA-appointed workplace assessor who conducts your JRWA. Therefore, it is important that SPRs are an accurate record of the work you undertake in your workplace.

SPRs for most occupations can be accessed from the TRA website. If the SPR for your occupation is not available, please email jrpenquiries@dewr.gov.au.

25. I am no longer with the employer listed on my application. Do I need to submit an SPR?

If you are no longer working with the employer recorded in your online application, and you have not yet successfully completed your JRWA, you are still required to submit an SPR for that employer for the period up to your last day of employment.

SPRs for most occupations can be access from the TRA website. If the SPR for your occupation is not available, please email jrpenquiries@dewr.gov.au.

26. I’m planning to go on holidays or need to take time off work. Do I need to let TRA know?

Yes.

You should send an email to jrpenquiries@dewr.gov.au letting TRA know the dates you will be away from work. Please include your TRA number and full name in the subject line of the email

27. What will my employer need to do during my time in the JRP?

Your employer will need to:

  • provide you with the appropriate tasks and duties so that you can develop the required skills for your nominated occupation in an Australian workplace
  • nominate an appropriately qualified supervisor, if your employer will not be supervising your work
  • complete and sign an Employment Verification Report (EVR)
  • complete and sign your Skills Progress Report (SPR)
  • allow a TRA-approved assessor to undertake your JRWA in the workplace.

You can find more information on the roles and responsibilities of an employer in Section 4.1.2 of the Job Ready Program Applicant Guidelines.

28. Why am I unable to submit a previous version of the Employment Verification Report or Skills Progress Report?

The Employment Verification Report (EVR) and Skills Progress Report (SPR) are regularly updated to reflect changes in industry practice and to align more closely with each step of the program

Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA)

1. What is a Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA)?

A Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) determines whether you are operating at the required skill level for the occupation nominated in your application.

An assessor from a TRA-approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO) will conduct your JRWA and will focus on the activities you have been required to perform during your employment as recorded in your SPR.

A JRWA can occur after the 6-month full-time equivalent paid employment requirement has been met and TRA has invited you to apply for the JRWA.

2. When can I apply for a JRWA?

TRA will advise you by email when you are considered eligible to apply for a JRWA. You should not apply for the JRWA until you receive an invitation from TRA.

3. I’m ready for my workplace assessment but have a new employer. Can I still have a workplace assessment?

If you have a new employer, TRA must verify the employment arrangements before your workplace assessment can take place. You must submit the employment details through the TRA Online Portal. You must also provide acceptable employment evidence that confirms you have worked with the new employer for a minimum of one month.

A program officer will let you know when you can apply for your JRWA, or if you have already applied, when your JRWA can proceed.

4. My employer has closed, can I still undertake a JRWA?

No.

The workplace assessment will take place in the workplace of your current employer. Before your JRWA can proceed, you must have completed at least one (1) month employment with your employer after the date you registered your employer online. This ensures you are familiar with your new workplace and fully prepared for your JRWA. Please refer to section 3.1.4 of JRP Guidelines for information about an additional or new employer.

5. I had a JRWA assessment booked but it has been put on hold, will it recommence and when?

To proceed to JRWA, you must email TRA at JRPenquiries@dewr.gov.au to confirm you and your employer/supervisor are ready to proceed the JRWA. Please include your TRA reference number and name in your email. If your application has been put on hold for more than one month, please confirm your personal details, employment details and supervisor/employer details in the email. If your employment changed, please see question 3 above.

6. Will I have to pay the new fees for my JRWA?

If you are a JRP participant who applied for the program before 24 December 2022 and you meet the JRWA eligibility requirements and submit your application and pay for the Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA) on or before 30 September 2023, you are eligible to pay for your JRWA at the previous fee of $2,540.

If you do not meet these conditions, you will need to pay the new fee of $2,845.

7. I started in the JRP after 24 December 2022, will I have to pay the new fee for Job Ready Workplace Assessment (JRWA)?

Yes, you will have to pay the new fee of $2,845 for JRWA.

8. TRA did not process my documents within the required time frame. Will I be exempt from paying the new JRWA fee?

If you applied for the JRP and paid for your JRE before 24 December 2022, you may be eligible to pay the lower fee of $2,540. You will need to be eligible for a JRWA and pay the application fee by 30 September 2023. If you do not do this, you will have to pay the new fee for the JRWA from 30 September 2023.

9. Why did the JRP fees change?

TRA operates on a cost-recovery model where participants pay the costs for delivering services. These prices reflect the cost to Government for operation of the Job Ready Program.

Job Ready Final Assessment (JRFA)

1. When can I apply for the Job Ready Final Assessment (JRFA)?

To be eligible for a JRFA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • achieved a successful JRWA outcome and
  • completed a minimum of 12 months full-time paid employment (or equivalent part-time employment) within TRA approved employment, from your JRE Start Date.

TRA will email you when we have determined you have met the requirements and are eligible to apply for your JRFA. You should not apply for the JRFA until you receive an invitation from TRA.

Please note that your JRP is not complete until you receive the official outcome letter. It is important to maintain your employment arrangements until you have received the official JRFA outcome letter confirming your successful outcome.

2. What do I do next if my application is successful?

A successful JRP outcome letter can be used to apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a skilled visa. Please note the outcome letter is not a qualification, nor does it represent formal accreditation of your skills and experience.

How is full-time, part-time, or casual employment worked out by TRA for the Job Ready Program (JRP)?

JRP is an employment-based program. Its purpose is for skilled migrants to get experience and show that they can work to Australian industry standards. TRA considers that a full-time employee can show this competency and complete the program in a minimum of 12 months.

The previous guidelines defined the minimum employment requirement as 1725 hours (excluding leave periods) over a 12 month period. The 1725 hours total reflected that an employee would have to work an average of 38 hours per week for approximately 46 weeks in a year. The remaining period covers annual leave and other leave such as public holidays.  

The current guidelines more clearly explain the full-time employment requirements as an average of 38 hours per week over a minimum 12 month period. This includes up to four weeks of paid leave. This full-time employment definition is consistent with other TRA skills assessment programs. The current guidelines also state how extended leave would delay the time it takes to complete the JRP. For example, if a participant takes five weeks of paid leave, this will extend their JRP by one week. This is how leave was managed under the previous versions of the guidelines.

JRP participants who work less than an average of 38 hours per week are working part-time hours. This may include participants who work on a casual basis. TRA will consider your program participation based on the average weekly hours you report to us. For example, if you tell us you work on average of 30 hours per week, then the equivalent program length would be just over 14 months. We understand that some employment arrangements may change due to a range of reasons, such as seasonal factors. If your average weekly hours change, you need to tell TRA about these changes when we ask for this information. This will help us determine how long you will take to complete the program.

Why are we required to have 6 months of employment with 1 employer?

The purpose of the Job Ready Program is to show that you can work to an Australian industry standard. Frequent changes in jobs can allow you to accumulate program hours. Yet this may not allow you to accumulate the equivalent experience in a workplace to be able to show that you can work to Australian industry standards.  A longer period of time with a single employer allows you to demonstrate to us you have technical skills and also soft skills to engage in a workplace.