Families sample life 'down under'. The Wall family from Nottingham have been hit by the credit crunch, and life is a struggle. But is a move down under the solution?
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Hello and welcome to Wanted Down Under,
the show that catapults a British family right across to the other side of the world
to help them make the biggest decision of their life,
whether to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
The Wall family from Nottingham are going to take a chance
on giving up their life in the UK for a new one down under.
I've never actually been, so is it just a dream? I'm not really sure.
But are they prepared for what that would mean to their loved ones?
It would be like saying the last goodbyes.
A goodbye isn't the best at any time,
never mind when you're probably not going to see them in the flesh again.
And will a wake-up call put an end to their dreams?
That's a big disappointment in my eyes.
There's recently been a 20% increase in families seeking jobs in Australia.
With its warm climate and promise of work, it's a very attractive option.
For people under 45 with a skill in demand,
it could be a realistic time to make the move.
But, if you've never even set foot down under, it's a massive challenge.
20 British families have been pushed to breaking point as they find out
about real life down under and, after just one week,
they'll have to vote one way or the other,
whether to stay in the UK, or to move to Australia.
Paul and Angela Wall live on the outskirts of Mansfield
in Nottinghamshire with their two children,
15-year-old Dylan and 11-year-old Becky
and there's another on the way. Angela is four months pregnant.
Paul works as a self-employed carpenter and joiner, but he's been hit by the credit crunch.
A move down under might be the solution.
Work went pear-shape over here a bit.
Australia seemed a better place to go because there might be more job opportunities.
I do know that they're building a lot of houses at the moment over there.
Angela was surprised when Paul first suggested it.
My first reactions were, "Don't be silly.
"Can't do something like that." And then, of course,
when you talk about something like that, straight on't internet and have a look.
And it looks so much nicer over there.
The quality of life looks so much nicer.
But I've never actually been, so is it just a dream? I'm not really sure.
Angela juggles two jobs as a carer to help make ends meet.
Life is a struggle and she's worried it won't get any better.
At the moment it's always wondering whether there IS work over here.
Whether there's work for the children as well, especially with Dylan leaving school next year.
It's such a worry knowing that they've got to fend for themselves
as well as we've got to fend for ourselves.
Angela's particularly worried about Dylan's prospects as he's dyslexic,
but Paul knows that his son has some useful skills.
He's a bit like me really, good with his hands. He's not a silly lad. He just struggles with words.
Thick, dumb, retard. You get it all the time at school.
Just cos you've got dyslexia don't mean you're thick.
Becky is really close to her grandparents
and Angela is worried that she doesn't understand what's at stake.
Becky's just dead excited. She thinks it's just a big holiday.
I don't think she really realises what it's going to be like,
the fact that she won't see her grandparents as often as she does.
At the moment, Becky has some more pressing concerns.
I would be a bit scared if there was a crocodile that went into the house
and if there was spiders and that, cos I'm scared of them.
How's the crocodile getting in? Is it going through the cat flap?
As well as being part of a strong community and having great neighbours,
they have a large and supportive family.
Paul's parents live just round the corner
and Angela is particularly close to her sisters.
But her parents are her first concern.
Dad's not well enough to fly out to Australia.
That has got to be the hardest thing to leave behind.
My parents' first impressions was,
"Can't you wait till we've gone, till we're not here any more?"
They didn't want to talk about it.
They didn't want us to mention it and they went into denial if we said anything about it.
The Walls don't often get to enjoy days out together
and they hope this will change in Australia.
Life has been hard for the family recently,
but are they prepared to leave behind all that they love in the UK?
For the week down under, we're sending the Walls to Perth, capital of Western Australia.
Situated between the bush and the western seaboard,
Perth has a relatively small commercial centre.
Busy during the day with office workers, shoppers and diners.
This area is surrounded by city suburbs,
offering a mixture of apartment and town-house living.
The suburbs spread out north and south along the coast.
The further you go, the more you can get for your property pound.
We found three possible lifestyles for our family,
each one offering a brand-new way of life for them to try on their budget.
But which one will be the most suitable?
The Walls could make the most of trendy dining and high-end shopping
with a home in one of the city's suburbs surrounding central Perth.
Popular with many young professionals, Subiaco has a great reputation
and is one of the most fashionable places in Perth to live.
For Dylan and Rebecca, entertainment options here might be a big draw, but property doesn't come cheap.
This two bedroom home would set the family back £615,000
and would be too much of a stretch for their budget.
But they'll be plenty of work options for Paul nearby,
where he could expect to earn around £200 a day.
So, very different from their life in the UK.
But what about the second option?
A laid-back life with the outback on your doorstep
can be found in the outer suburbs of Perth.
There are affordable homes and family friendly suburbs like Ashby,
which has a strong market garden scene.
But work in the outer suburbs would be scarce
and Paul could face a substantial commute of up to an hour
into the city for work.
A four bedroom home like this would cost the Walls around £320,000
and they wouldn't feel out of place as the area has a strong British contingent.
That all looks very inviting.
But what about the third option?
Relaxed waterside living is readily available
in one of the many coastal districts on Perth's western seaboard.
The aspirational suburb of Mount Claremont is only a stone's throw
away from the beach and a ten-minute drive from the city.
Beautiful properties like this three bedroom, two-bathroom family home
command a price for the desirable location,
with this one costing £730,000.
But if you venture further up the coast,
good-sized family properties can be found for around £450,000.
With this option,
Paul's potential work could be only a 15 minute drive away.
So three very different options there, all of them life changing.
So where did we decide to send the Wall family?
With the promise of a good quality of life by the sea for the new baby,
a range of sizable family homes, but with a shorter commute into the city centre,
we decided that the coast was the best option for Paul and Angela and their growing family.
We've arranged a job for Paul to try.
All right, mate. I'm Paul.
Set up a selection of housing options.
There's a swimming pool. I definitely like this one.
And lined up some leisure time to help them decide
whether to make the life-changing move down under.
Angela and Paul want to find out if Australia will provide a better way of life for their family,
but will Perth live up to their expectations?
They only have a week to try and decide where their future lies.
After an exhausting 9,000 mile journey, they emerge on the other side of the world.
So how did they cope with the 18 hour flight?
Quite good. It weren't that bad.
-I don't know. I'm ready for bed.
-We were all right.
-And it's not raining.
-What do you think of it?
-It doesn't feel like Australia yet.
It doesn't seem like we're here yet. It's not real till we get out there.
It hasn't sunk in yet for the girls.
Well, the journey's almost over.
The Walls are staying in a three bedroom house in Connolly,
a northern suburb only two minutes drive from the beach
and 15 minutes from Paul's potential work.
-It's nice, in't it?
So first impressions are good
and the open plan living area should suit their needs for the week.
But there's only one thing that's at the top of Angela's wish list.
It's got a dishwasher. We're all right!
How will upstairs fare?
-I'm havin' this one.
-This is Becky's room, is it?
Angela's already worried about the local wildlife.
-Make sure there's no spiders in there first.
-Are you that scared?
Spiders not included, a family house like this would cost around £220,000
to buy and, with the centre only being 20 minutes away,
it's ideally located for exploring Perth.
I like this.
This is where we'll relax when it's a nice summer's day.
No, you're not. This is my bedroom.
This is my luxury away from you.
-Mum and Dad only room.
-How come there's four chairs then?
Ha-ha! I think she's got you there!
So what's their overall impression?
It's a bit smaller than ours though, in't it?
Er... Do you reckon?
-I don't think it is.
-Yeah. I do.
-I reckon kitchen's smaller, but I...
The entrance is bigger.
-What do you think then?
-I like it.
I could rent it and live in it.
I could live here.
It's the end of a long journey for Dylan and Becky, but for Paul and Angela it's just beginning.
It's going to be the biggest week of us lives, in't it?
-If it's worth coming or not.
-Moving and leaving all family behind.
No sister to go out with.
Nobody. Don't know anybody at all and it is a long, long way.
Back in the UK, Angela and Paul live in an extended four bedroom house
in Nottinghamshire, which they bought 16 years ago for £22,000.
But they have since spent a lot of time and money renovating it.
In Australia, they're looking for a four bedroom house
and have a budget of up to £175,000, depending on what work Paul can get.
We have found three suitable homes for sale.
The first is located in Stratton, 20 minutes from Paul's
potential work and a half hour's drive from the beach.
Being slightly more inland, it offers value for money, as this four bedroom, two bathroom property
is on the market for £180,000.
So with a little negotiation on the asking price,
the Walls should be able to afford it.
Is this the main lounge?
-I don't know. This is, er...
-Tiny, in't it?
-I don't know what you'd use this for.
-I don't know what you'd call it.
Whether it's lounge or extra-lounge.
-I like this one. It's pink.
I think this one might be the main bedroom. Look, we're en suite.
-It's weird having a bedroom down on the first floor.
-Dylan, it's a bungalow.
-I know, but...
We've never lived in a bungalow before, have we?
Strange, in't it, looking out on the front of the house?
But what will they make of the living area at the back of the house?
-This is bigger.
-Don't like colour. Don't like the green.
-No. The kitchen needs ripping out, don't it?
I think they like magnets just a bit!
I don't like kitchen at all.
-It's old-fashioned, in't it?
-We'll change this altogether.
You'd have to find a joiner, wouldn't you? To change it.
We know who to call then! But Paul soon spots some worrying features.
No skirting there. Plastered to floor.
That's you, then, that's the main job you do.
Maybe they don't bother with it here.
While Paul chews that over, there are the other bedrooms to see.
-What would this be?
-This is another room...
-Another wardrobe without any doors on it.
-They don't like doors.
No. I ought to leave them a business card. They need some doors fitted.
Paul's spotting work opportunities everywhere!
-I reckon rooms are too small.
-They are tiny, aren't they?
It's time for the back garden.
This is actually quite nice.
-I like it.
-It's nice and bright.
-Shaded. For a barbie.
-There ain't a swimming pool.
There's no room for a swimming pool.
Becky's a bit disappointed and she's not alone.
At £180,000, this property is right at the top of their budget and it isn't what they were dreaming of.
It's not big enough.
We could get a lot nicer house in England for that amount of money.
Yeah. More room and...
-Inside and outside.
-We're not bettering ourselves.
No, I don't think we're bettering ourselves for this one.
-It's not big enough.
-No. It's a no for first one, in't it?
Too dear, too small.
It seems the Walls' eyes have been opened and as they start coming to terms
with what they can afford on their budget, it's on to property two.
Located only five-minutes drive from the Indian Ocean
and 15 minutes from Paul's potential work,
the coastal suburb of Beldon is only ten-years-old and has
plenty of open spaces to kick a ball about.
This four bedroom, two bathroom house is on the market for £200,000.
So it would be a bit of stretch on their budget.
I'm liking this.
-Why? Because of trees on garden?
And I think the beach is only five minutes away.
Sounds like we're off to a good start.
This looks nice.
-This is more like a front room.
This L-shaped reception room then opens out on to a spacious dining, kitchen and living area.
-Now, this is good.
-The kitchen's better than the other one.
-It's not too big.
-This is way good. I could sit here to watch telly.
-Becky's decided this is the home for her.
-I like this.
-Are you moving in?
This house is really nice, but we ain't going to afford it.
Ever the optimist, Dylan!
-We might have to sell everything.
Ah! Daddy doesn't mean it!
If we did come, this would be pushing the budget, you know.
-Oh, well. You won't be able to eat.
Maybe they should see the rest of the house before crash diets ensue.
This will be my room, I guess.
-Why, because it's pink already?
-It's still a bit small, but more room than the other.
You always get bagsies on rooms, don't you?
I thought that were gonna be a wardrobe.
-No. It looks like that is.
-The wardrobe's over there, look.
-You won't fit your clothes in there, Beck.
I'll do what that person does.
That's the spirit, Becky!
This will be Mum and Dad's room.
Yeah, I like this room.
An en suite. I like this bedroom.
It's bigger than our bedroom at home.
-But I reckon it might be noisier with main road.
For money, I think we're pushing budget with work we'll still need to do.
But you want to move in, don't you?
-I prefer it to the last one.
-Yeah. I do.
-This one's a lot better than the last one.
-I'm still not sure.
But they're undecided and the road noise is an issue.
But it does make the property more affordable.
Maybe the small water feature out back will make up their minds.
There's a swimming pool. I definitely like this one!
-This is nice.
-This is a lot nicer...
That's where me and Dylan's going to be and that's you and Dad!
-Nice sitting area.
-I would only move if we were moving to a house like this.
The outdoor living space has really inspired the whole family,
but Paul's trying to keep his feet on the ground.
I think we'd be pushing it to come and move in here straightaway.
I think we'd have to rent and, basically, work our way up to something like this.
It's more what I dreamed about.
This is what we've got to go back and look for.
See how much we can get. How much money.
How much our house is worth.
If I can get a job on what I earn now, we'll be all right.
We can move into this.
Good. Hope we can.
They're right. Buying a property like this would depend on what
they could sell their house for and how much Paul could earn.
But even pragmatic Dylan seems to be won over.
It shocked me really. Dylan's actually turned round
and said he'll actually come to live here for this house.
So things are looking up.
But Paul's still coming to terms with Perth's property prices.
I was quite shocked how much more it cost compared to England.
I were a bit disappointed to be honest.
I don't know if you hope for too much when you come over.
Perhaps option three might be the answer to the Walls' budget concerns?
With Paul in the construction business,
Angela's always hoped that one day he would build them a dream home.
In Australia, he could do just that.
Buying a plot of land and getting a house built on it is a viable option financially.
In Butler, a northern suburb only a couple of minutes from the beach,
you can get house and land packages from £166,000,
well within the Walls' budget.
But, of course, you have to start from scratch.
In't this what you've always dreamed of, Mum?
Having a plot of land and...?
I've always told Daddy he ought to build us a house.
And I've never been that interested.
I don't know why I'm a bit off put.
But you build new houses. You should praise new houses.
We'll have to go and have a look at the show home and see.
It seems Paul's a bit daunted by the scale of a project like this,
but Angela's keen to talk him round by showing him
what kind of house they could live in if they gave it a go.
-This is nice.
-Very modern, in't it?
-Would you be able to do something like this then?
If you did it, it wouldn't look nowt like this. Not be as nice.
Well, that's not the kind of encouragement Paul needs, Dylan!
-This will probably be your room.
-Yep. This is nice.
With all the fancy pillows.
What's behind? Is that your bathroom?
-I would have thought so.
-I like that pillow, Dad. Wardrobe. Dad...
This is a walk-through en suite.
-I like this.
-I know you said you don't like new houses as such, but I do.
She just needs to convince Paul.
-This is nice.
-You've always wanted a red kitchen.
It's a proper kitchen.
Could you see yourself in here though watching telly and that?
I don't know. It's all too new.
We'd have to buy all new furniture if we came in here.
I want new furniture anyway.
You want a new life, new house...
-New study and four new bedrooms if you want too.
-Yeah, we've been into main one.
-We've been into main one.
-I like this one.
-Yeah, that's nice.
-You prefer this one, don't you?
I can see where you're swinging.
It's nice. It all looks clean and fresh.
And Paul might be persuaded, taking into account a house and
garden finished to this standard would cost around £175,000.
-This is cheaper than the last house we looked at.
I know that had a pool, but this is all new.
Compared to a new house in England, money-wise, what would you get?
Money-wise, you'd be probably better with this one.
The price of land is expensive in England.
It's something to look at, in't it?
It's surprising that you can get a new one
cheaper than the older properties we've looked at.
The Walls have seen three very different options.
The first house was within budget, but the bedrooms were too small
and it wasn't what they were looking for.
Property two would have been a stretch financially,
but they loved the pool and the open-plan living area.
The house and land package was an affordable third option
and has certainly given them food for thought.
But has it been enough to choose Australia over their home in the UK?
Time to vote.
After looking at the three properties today and comparing the prices
and what we'd get for us money over in Australia,
we've all decided and our vote will be...
Why did you pick England?
I don't know. I didn't like the first house.
-And I decided from then, I prefer my house at home.
-You liked the last one.
-I did like the last one and I was very undecided.
I could still go either way, but if I've got to make a choice,
my house at home.
It's been a long day and the Walls head home with Angela, at least, undecided.
Later, they discover how much their UK home is worth
and they find out how much everyday life down under will actually cost.
That's a big disappointment in my eyes.
But will Angela be more or less convinced about a move down under
once she's come face to face with some of the local wildlife?
The Walls want to spend more quality time as a family
and hope the better weather down under means
they can all enjoy the outdoor activities together.
But having never been to Australia,
will it live up to their expectations?
For many people, the charms of Australia lie in its outdoor culture.
Barbecues, beaches, outdoor activities and general fun in the sun.
Unfortunately for the Walls, today it means rain and lots of it.
Oh, well, at least we have something to distract them with.
To show Angela and Becky there's a lot more to Australia than spiders,
we've arranged a trip to Perth Zoo to help them find
a new appreciation of all that's wild and wonderful in Oz.
The heavens open just as the Walls arrive
and it starts raining cats and dogs. Well, just the one.
Zoo keeper Belinda Turner introduces them to Durka.
-This is an Australia wild dog, so not like a domestic dog, which loves hugs and pats.
Dingoes like to sniff on their own terms.
I'll take you guys up into the Australian bush.
You can meet some of the other cool Aussie animals.
-Just follow me up this way.
Bedraggled Durka's not that keen on the rain, so while he goes for breakfast,
Belinda takes the Walls to the bush walk section, which focuses on indigenous animals.
-It looks like something off of Lord o't Rings.
And where better to start with than the most iconic of marsupials and Australia's national symbol.
Belinda's brought some tempting vegetation with her so Becky can meet orphaned kangaroo, Flex.
She's only two-years-old, so she's a young kangaroo. Flex was hand-raised.
Her mum threw her out of the pouch, which kangaroos do when they feel threatened.
A female will contract her muscles and throw her joey out of the pouch
to either distract the predator that's chasing her or to lighten her load to get away from a bush fire.
They throw their joey and save themselves.
It's a really harsh way of life, but Australia's a harsh environment.
The creature that's well-adapted for survival is the echidna,
one of only two egg-laying mammals in the world.
These shy fellows are a year old.
They've got backwards-facing feet.
Echidnas like to dig, so these are like little shovels.
They're hollowed out and they do lots of digging.
They can dig really quickly into soil and basically submerge
themselves, so only the prickly bits are showing, which means predators can't really get them.
So you can see he's scratching with that long claw.
That's how you get in between those spikes, with a really long claw so you don't prickle yourself.
What do you think?
That's one way of putting it, Becky!
The Walls find the slightly less prickly koalas having a nap, but they do sleep up to 20 hours a day.
The next marsupials are a bit quicker on their feet, but apparently not quick enough.
The Tasmanian devil used to be found all across Australia,
even here in Perth in south-west WA up to about 500 years ago,
but when the dingo got introduced to Australia,
it was a better competitor, a better predator.
It took their food and they became extinct on mainland Australia.
The dingo didn't get to Tasmania, which is the only place where the devils now exist.
They have just been put on to the endangered species list
and they could possibly go extinct in the next 15, 20 years, which is quite awful.
They're a beautiful animal and we do hope there are good efforts to save them.
One creature the Tasmanian devil definitely wouldn't want to get up close and personal with
is Belinda's next suggestion.
She sends the Walls off to meet one of Australia's most feared native species,
the saltwater crocodile.
Wow! It looks not real.
He's ready to eat us.
It is real, cos it moved its leg!
He could eat you whole.
-Not chewing you, just swallow you in one move.
-Yeah, I know. Look at the size of its neck.
-Has it actually blinked?
Does it blink?
They do blink, but not very often.
What do you reckon? Coming to a country that's got them in't rivers?
A bit weird because...
Weird? What about scary?
-They're not in Perth, though.
-Saltwater crocodiles are only found in northern Australia.
-I'd still be careful, just in case!
Not that scary, are they?
-I think I'm with the girls, there.
It's clear the Walls are beginning to realise how different Australia is to home and the morning has
given them some time to start thinking about what could be the biggest decision of their lives.
Quack-quack! Come over here.
Dylan and Becky head off to take in some of the less indigenous species
and, although the weather's improved, Paul's been surprised by life down under.
A little disappointed on the weather.
We didn't expect this much rain, to be honest, but
just a bit too much like England at the minute.
But his thoughts turn to Angela.
I'm trying to make Angela see we can have a better life out here.
But I don't know. I still think the family's a big thing for her still.
-I think her mum and dad's playing a big part.
-I don't know.
I'm still not sure what I want.
I'm still 50-50.
I really, really do not know. I think Paul, especially with the second house we looked at yesterday...
I mean, he loved that house and he could see our future being there.
He's more up for it at the moment than perhaps I am.
But one thing's for sure.
The kids have definitely changed their minds.
They really don't want to go home now, so...
I don't know if it's for the right reasons.
I'm not sure Dylan and Becky would agree with that,
but whatever their reasons, it's time to put them to the test.
How will the Wall family vote?
We've had a lovely day here at the zoo.
The weather's turned out nice for us.
We've seen a lot of nice animals and the vote is going to be...
Are you surprised I voted Australia?
-A little bit.
-I don't know.
I thought you were for going back.
Yeah, but I think on lifestyle
it's more relaxed and there's more to do.
The Walls have all been impressed by the Aussie wildlife, but coming up,
their views on a life down under are seriously put to the test when they get messages from back home.
Angela and Paul are concerned that Becky and Dylan would struggle
if they cut ties with friends and family in the UK.
If they emigrate to Australia, they have to be sure they can make new friends.
They are especially concerned that, because of Dylan's dyslexia,
he would struggle to fit into college or find work.
So we've arranged for them to meet up with Carol Sargeant
and her daughter, Jamie, who's also dyslexic.
Hi, Rebecca. It's nice to meet you. Would you guys like to come and sit down?
-So you've got dyslexia?
-Yeah, I had a lot of people telling me I was stupid,
so I'm working really hard to prove them wrong.
That's annoying, innit? You get it a lot.
Some people, I know I'm cleverer than them, but just cos I can't read and write...
-They think they're smarter and it's easy for them.
-Yeah. It just makes school life a lot harder.
For a long time, Angela and Paul weren't sure why Dylan was struggling at school.
They don't really tell you that much in England about dyslexia.
It's took a long, long time for us to get diagnosed.
-But you find that a lot of your teachers treat you as though you're a troublemaker, don't they?
Dylan has actually been chucked out of class for actually asking for more help.
Just basically turned round to him and said,
"You were there. You listened. You're just causing trouble."
Carol explains how Jamie has benefitted from the Australian schooling system.
You can do a combination of high school and what they call TAFE,
like a college you go to to learn a trade.
Jamie does four days at high school
and one day a week she goes into TAFE in town and does a media course.
So if you're a person who's more of a hands-on person,
you've got that option of, if your child is having trouble academically,
they can go in and do your TAFE part-time or full-time, depending on if it's going for a trade.
This sounds like it could be a good option for Dylan.
But in the meantime, Carol and Jamie want to show the Walls the local sights.
They take them to nearby Joondalup Park and Lake.
And while the kids take in the local wildlife, Carol wants to find out what's holding them back.
What about family?
I could move away from our family.
I could talk to my mum and dad over the phone,
but she's a lot closer to her family.
I've got two sisters and a brother and then me mum and dad, but me mum
and dad wouldn't ever be able to come over here.
Me mum perhaps could, but me dad wouldn't be able to fly.
So how do you think you're going to go, coming over here not having any family?
-I really don't know.
-Because you're going to be away with work?
And she'll be stuck with a newborn.
So it would be very much getting you finding people that you could connect with.
Carol's hit the nail on the head and, in true Aussie style, she's ready to lend a hand.
I think it would be very essential for her to try and make friends
as fast as possible, find different groups.
We've said that we'll keep in contact.
If she decides she's going to stay we can help her meet new people.
The day's experience has certainly given Dylan a lot to think about.
Today's been useful, her being dyslexic and stuff like that.
It's been interesting. It's made me think it should be easier to make friends over here,
but there's still other things what makes me think about staying at England.
It's a long way and it's a lot of hard work, in't it?
Just to move to a place and start everything from new.
Dylan is unsure about where his future should lie, but how do the
Wall family feel about the prospect of making new friends down under?
We've had a great afternoon.
It's been brilliant meeting friends and finding out about Dylan with his dyslexia.
And I think at the end of the day we've all decided and the vote will be...
Families like the Walls, with teenagers, may wonder
what options are available to their children when they leave school.
If not academically inclined, like Dylan, there's a great system of
vocational training in Australia to get school leavers into work.
Training is an absolutely pivotal priority of our government
and I think right throughout Australia.
We have around 1,600 training institutions throughout Western Australia that provide
a plethora of opportunities for those students that want to take up a training opportunity.
As early on as secondary school, students in Australia can begin to focus on vocational skills.
The Australian education system values
non-academically inclined students and they offer various programmes.
One of them is through TAFE, Technical And Further Education,
and the programme offered gives a VET qualification,
Vocational, Education And Training qualification.
They include courses in hospitality, secretarial studies, manual arts,
the traditional building trades apprenticeship courses.
Or for something a bit different, the robotics course
brings together several disciplines to engage students in a fun way.
We developed a programme
where the kids in engineering actually create an arcade machine.
It's sort of catering for lots of different sorts of students who have different skills.
As students look towards employment, school-to-work programmes provide workplace experience.
Students would do either a career link or work readiness programme,
whereby they'd be out of school for one day a week doing specific, on-the-job training.
They have a structured, workplace learning programme developed
by the college in conjunction and with co-operation of the employers.
So for Dylan's dreams to take up carpentry, there seemed to be plenty of opportunities available.
And with only 5.7% of the Australian population unemployed in 2009,
compared to 7.9% of Britons, the prospects for emigrating teenagers are good.
So if you are in Western Australia at the moment there is absolutely no excuse for you not endeavouring to
pursue a training pathway which will take you through life with meaningful career opportunities.
Uppermost in Paul's mind when viewing properties was cost.
Can they afford to move to Australia?
It's vital they take into account what they
can make from their UK home and the cost of living in Australia.
It's time for a reality check.
In the UK, the Walls own an extended four-bedroom house on the outskirts
of Mansfield, which they bought 16 years ago for £22,000.
They estimate it now to be worth around 95,000, but what is the true value in the current climate?
We sent round two estate agents to assess the property.
Any potential move down under depends on what they can get for their house.
We've got a DVD for them and it may prove worrying with the drop in property prices.
-Ready to press play?
There we go.
Quite a new nice room. Opens into the kitchen.
Now this is good. Well fitted-out. Plenty of modern units.
This will certainly be one of the selling points of this house.
Double-glazed patio doors to the garden.
UPV also to the front.
Work in progress. Nice little room. Super.
Reasonable second bedroom.
Completely unexpected part of the accommodation.
It's got a delightful kitchen. It's got a very nice layout of rooms downstairs.
Upstairs, it has a fourth bedroom, which has been extended off the third bedroom,
meaning it's not a private room and that probably hits the price a little bit,
as does the fact that, for this area, it's more developed than perhaps you would expect.
Therefore I would value it for a sale at 85,000.
With a quick sale, I would bring it down to 79,950.
Well, that's 10,000 less than they thought it would be worth.
There is so much riding on the value.
Maybe the second agent will have a more promising figure.
It is well-maintained throughout.
Got the gas central heating, the double-glazing
and the accommodation has certainly been improved by the current owners.
My only concern is whether they have overspent on it in terms of
the loft conversion, which is useful space but sometimes can be a loss leader.
Valuation-wise, I'd be looking to put the property
on to the open market at an asking price of 79,950.
And for a quick sale, I'd be looking at 74,950.
-It's not the news they were hoping for.
The valuation makes up Paul's mind.
So we'll be looking to rent if we could, definitely.
-I wouldn't sell it at that, no way.
-That's the market at the moment.
Yeah. But we knew that anyway, didn't we?
-Don't make it any better.
As the children head off, Paul faces facts.
I thought he'd get closer to 90, really, but...
So them houses we've looked at over here we won't be able to go for straightaway anyway.
It were weird seeing house on DVD, weren't it?
-Yeah, it didn't look bad though, did it?
-No. I'm quite happy with it.
Didn't have a swimming pool, though.
Ah, with that disappointing news, Paul and Angela are going to have
to do their sums to see if a move to Australia is possible at all.
We've provided the Walls with some details of everyday costs of living in Australia.
Not something the children have to think about, but of crucial importance to Paul and Angela.
Council tax, £100.
So that's saving, in't it?
See, me mortgage is a big jump up, innit?
And then you've got your air conditioning on top of your gas and electric.
Plus you don't get your NHS that you get over in England.
With the unexpected costs of private health insurance and air conditioning, it's not looking good.
Let's have a look at shopping.
More things are dearer. I said frozen pizzas were dearer, didn't I?
But I think everything is, food-wise. Not on an awful lot, but when you add it all up
over a month, you're talking another £100 on your shopping, aren't you?
-Don't make it any easier.
-That's a big disappointment in my eye.
The cost of living's dearer.
The house is dearer.
-The job's got to be marvellous.
Life down under is much more expensive than they'd believed it to be,
and Paul's taken it particularly hard.
He needs some time to gather his thoughts.
Paul's shattered by it.
He really liked the houses that we looked at and he was set for coming,
but with the price that we'd get for our house
and the price of living over here, I think it's been a big blow to him.
It's going to cost us more to live here, so it all depends on Paul's wages again.
It was all a bit disappointing.
Bit of a shock to us, really. I don't know if we were just being naive
and thinking that things like that were going to be cheaper over here.
The second house that we looked at, I could see at the weekend sitting
by, watching the kids playing in the pool and that.
I thought if we did get a really good price that, ooh, maybe we could sell, but
really, reality kicks in.
And we knew really that
the price weren't going to be good.
It's just that when you see something you like,
you start wishing, don't you?
After finding out the price of our house in England and comparing different prices of the cost
of living in Australia compared to England, we've both thought about it and our vote will be...
That were easier, weren't it?
It all hinges on Paul's work.
Will he earn enough to finance a move to Australia and the lifestyle they've dreamt of?
The pressure's on.
Back home in Nottinghamshire, Paul works as a self-employed joiner and carpenter.
He can earn anywhere between £400-£700 a week.
But jobs have been hard to come by since the recession.
In Australia, he hopes the work will be plentiful and that it will be better paid.
Paul is up early and he's very aware of how important this is.
A lot rests on this morning at work, really,
because if the wages aren't as good,
basically, with the cost of living being a little bit more, that would put a right damper on things.
While Dylan relaxes at home, Angela and Becky check out a local mother and toddler group.
If they emigrated, Angela faces the prospect of looking after a new baby without the support of her family,
-so she's keen to find out what amenities and support there are for new mums.
-Hiya. I'm Angela.
Hi, I'm Ayla.
Hiya. Hiya. We're looking into moving to Australia.
It's a first visit and we're just seeing whether we like it, whether it's suitable for us.
It's the wrong season to see whether you like it!
Just wondering what help there is out here for when you've got young children.
There's a lot of kindies, like this playgroup centre.
There's swimming lessons. We do a dance lesson at the community hall. And the mums...
we sometimes get together socially as well, outside of the playgroup without our children,
so it's just nice to catch up and interact without these interruptions.
So, yeah, it's good.
With Angela at home looking after the baby, Paul would be
the sole wage earner in Australia, so it's vital that his day at work goes well.
He's meeting Andrew Marshela, who runs a local carpentry firm.
-Hi, I'm Paul.
-Hi, my name's Andrew. How's things?
This family business should be right up Paul's street,
as they cover new builds as well as renovation and restoration work.
This is my dad, Andrew.
Hello. I'm Paul.
Father-son team, obviously.
I've got a son who's 15 that I want to become a joiner as well.
So you want to form a team, father and son, like me?
-If you work hard, you'll get it.
-People want nice doors and nice joinery. There's always work.
But Andrew points out that there has been a drop in demand for joinery work in Perth.
Not because of the recession, just the way things have gone.
There's a lot more aluminium, steel jambs in the new housing. The cheap stuff.
I've noticed that when I had a walk round and I thought, "Ooh!"
There's still the renovation market. People want to maintain what's already there
in the older suburbs, the inner city and all the rest, so there's still enough work, I suppose, in joinery.
Meanwhile, Angela has found a mum who has already made the move from the UK.
-So how long have you been in Australia?
-I've been here four years now.
My husband and I came out, just the two of us, and we had Ruby, who's here, and then Matilda.
-Are you glad that you did it?
Absolutely no regrets at all. We haven't been back since.
Angela addresses some concerns.
-Was it easy enough making friends over here?
-When you have kids it's a lot easier.
Cos the mother's group, that's been great for me.
I think I just made a decision whether to look...
I hope my parents aren't watching this! But rather than look back at the past generation
to look for the future and we just thought it would be such a better move for our children.
At the workshop, Paul's got some important questions himself, not least, will he be able to find work?
Things have slowed down over here, but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad
as what you're experiencing over there.
I'm just wondering about the salary over here compared to England. Back in England, I could earn
somewhere between £150 to £200 on day work.
Yeah, look. Most of the guys on site are earning 300, 400, 500 a day.
That's not what Paul was hoping to hear, as at £150 to £200 a day,
that's the same as he could earn in the UK.
And Angela's worried about Paul getting bad news.
At the beginning of the week, yeah, he was really up for it. He thought, "Brilliant! We'll be able to do it."
And then after watching the house price and the cost of living,
it has put a dampener on it and he's started to think, "No, we can't do it.
"We can't afford it." Which is making him feel down about it.
Andrew's brought Paul down to a coastal property he's working on
to show him the type of job he could do here.
So this is a job that I've being doing for probably about a year now.
Let's go inside and have a look.
Yeah, this is definitely the sort of thing I'll be interested in.
Also, obviously, you've got some skirting and architraves running around the door jambs and everything
that the guys still have to put on. A couple of doors that still have to go on.
All the joinery that we've done is all out of jarrah, which is a local, West Australian hardwood.
Paul gets down to brass tacks.
Is there any chance you'd get in touch with me if any job opportunities turn up?
Yeah. You know what you're talking about and there is a market still over here for this sort of work.
-Good traders are hard to get, so yeah. I can't see why not.
-That's a bit of good news, then.
So it seems that finding work won't be too much of a problem in Australia.
But how is Paul feeling about the salary?
A little bit disappointed finding out that the pay over here is about the same as Britain.
So with the cost of living, it's going to be a bit harder to move over.
It's been a crucial morning and it's time to vote on work.
After finding out about work today and pay and availability of work,
my vote is going to be...
Paul is finding it hard to make his dream of a life down under work
and things are only going to get tougher still.
Paul and Angela don't know anyone in Australia and they're about to have a new baby.
Will they be able to cope without the support of their loved ones in the UK?
We've recorded some messages from their friends and family to help them
consider what making a move to the other side of the world would mean.
-Are you ready?
-Hello, Angela, Rebecca, Dylan.
-Hi, Angela. Hope you're having a good time.
Angela's a good mother.
Always has been a good mother.
She does look after her children and looks after Paul.
He's good to his family and he's good to us when we need him.
We know he's going to be there when I need him.
I think being neighbours, you can't really ask for any better.
You can't pick your neighbours and certainly if I was to move again,
I would wish for neighbours exactly like those.
They're just always there. If they're not there, they'll be missed.
Makes lots of mistakes.
-It's always him that falls off his bike.
If anyone is in trouble, it's usually him.
-He makes us laugh, don't he?
-Yeah, he's a character.
We are a close family, aren't we?
We are quite a close-knit family.
We all live within about half an hour of one another.
At least once a week we see them all. And that would be a hole...
Yes, it would be a hole in the family. I dread the thought, really.
You can pick the phone up, but it's not quite the same, is it?
No. It's not being in the same room as them.
We go down there, we sit, we have a cup of tea.
We have a barbecue together, whatever, and it's a proper interaction, in't it, between us?
Well, obviously, we don't want them to go,
with our hearts. With our heads, we want them to go out there and do well
-and settle down.
-And to get on their feet.
-And to get on their feet.
Me dream is for him to really make a good life for him and his family if they do decide to step over there.
Cos Paul's a really hard worker and if anybody deserves it, he does.
It would be like saying the last goodbyes,
because there's no way I could get across to Australia
and I'd only be able to communicate with them over the internet, wouldn't I?
A goodbye isn't the best at any time, never mind when you're probably not going to see them
in the flesh again.
You're coming to the end of your week now. You've got some big, big decisions to make.
Just hope that everything that you choose to do...
If it's to stop out in Australia, then, you know, brilliant.
If not, then come back. Our barbecue's always lit for you.
All right, Dylan. Hope you've had a good week.
Find yourself a girl maybe that likes you.
Right! But remember we're still here.
We don't actually want you to go, but if you feel it's good for you, then you should.
We'll still get in touch with you.
I know you've got a big decision to make. I know it's hard.
It is hard for us as well as you, but we will support you in everything you do.
We know that it's something you've really wanted to do for a while now.
I hope the decisions are coming through and you make the right one.
You know we're all going to miss you, don't you?
Got me going now, look.
All we want from you is, you know, to enjoy what you're doing there.
Make sure it's something you want to do. I'm sure you'll make the right decision.
-Love you loads.
I expected to hear you crying.
-No, that's your dad.
-I know. I would have said that.
You've got watery eyes.
-So would you miss everybody?
-What do think about all that?
-What were you expecting, then?
-I don't know.
-I'm surprised you didn't cry.
-She's not the soppy one.
Ah! I think Paul was surprised by the strength of his feelings there.
Has he underestimated the emotional ties with the UK?
It's nice to feel like you have
actually achieved something back at home.
Your mum and dad don't actually tell you how proud they are of you
when you grow up.
It's nice to hear about that.
But Angela's feeling pragmatic.
Lots of people do it. Lots of people emigrate.
Yeah, it's a long, long way away, but if you want to better your lifestyle,
you have to think about these things
and it's just one of the sacrifices you have to make.
As the Walls prepare for their last evening in Perth, Paul still knows what he really wants.
The dream is still Australia because I think Rebecca and the little lad
what's not here yet, I think it's going to benefit them loads.
The week has been a real test for the whole family.
It got off to a good start when the Walls fell in love with house number two.
This is nice.
It's what I dreamed about. If I can get a job on what I earn now, we could move into this.
Good. Hope we can.
And although the weather could have been better, the Walls did enjoy what Australia had to offer.
But their dream of a new life was dealt a big blow when the cost of living in Australia
proved much higher than expected and Paul's salary turned out to be much less than they were hoping for.
It's put another nail in the coffin, really.
It's a massive decision for the family and it's crunch time.
Will they choose to stay in the UK or start a new life down under?
We've had a great week.
We've found out loads of information.
We've seen the family and friends, seen what their views are.
Shame about the weather. We've had plenty of rain, but it makes you feel like you're back in England.
But after everything else, we've decided and our vote will be...
I do want to come, but I don't think it's just the right time for us yet.
I wouldn't like to rule it out and say, "No, we're definitely not coming,"
but I don't think the time's quite right at the moment.
-You just haven't got the money, have you?
-There's a lot more involved than what we thought.
Despite the disappointment of what Paul could earn,
the Walls did enjoy the lifestyle Australia has to offer.
But in the end, financial practicalities
and the concerns of having a new baby on the way proved just too much.
It seems they won't be moving, at least for the time being.
Join us again next time when we find out how another British family get on when they're Wanted Down Under.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Series in which British families, keen to trade in the British weather for the down-under lifestyle, are given the chance to sample what life would be like if they moved to the other side of the world.
The Wall family from Nottinghamshire experience life for a week in Perth. In the UK, Paul works as a carpenter, but he's been hit by the credit crunch. His wife Angela juggles two jobs to make ends meet. They're worried about son Dylan's prospects in the UK, as he's dyslexic. Life is a struggle for the family, and a move down under might be the solution. But could the financial reality of life in Australia put an end to their dreams?