Tips and Stories from OFW Butchers in Australia

In Australia’s busy meat industry, Filipino butchers are making a mark with their unique stories and helpful tips. As they move from the Philippines to Down Under, these butchers bring diverse experiences and a strong work ethic.

In this article, we’ll hear about their journeys, from working in slaughterhouses to finding success in a new country. Join us as we discover the world of Filipino butchers in Australia, where the skill of meat cutting meets the determination to build a better future.

experiences of filipino butchers in australia

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

Experiences of Filipino Butchers Applying for Work in Australia

This article is based on a YouTube video authored by Boss Jude TV, a Filipino vlogger based in Australia. In the video, a group of butchers share their experiences regarding how they applied to work in the land down under. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:


Training Avenues:

In their quest to become skilled butchers, vloggers suggest exploring various ways to learn. This includes checking out information on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, and watching videos to get ideas on how to improve their butcher skills. This highlights the idea that learning can happen online, and digital resources play a big role in helping them get better at their craft.

Diverse Training Locations:

The vloggers talk about different places where butchers can get their training, like slaughterhouses and local meat shops. Whether it’s at a place called Digos, a meat shop named Nonit’s, or working as a butcher at Monterey, the training settings are different, and each one offers its own challenges and techniques. Training in different places helps butchers become well-rounded and prepared for different aspects of their job.

International Experience:

The vloggers also mention the importance of working in different countries, like Dubai, especially in tasks such as slicing and boning. This means that getting experience in other parts of the world brings new ideas and ways of doing things. It’s like adding pieces to a puzzle that helps butchers become really good at what they do.

Video Presentation Challenges:

One interesting part of the training is making videos to show off their skills, particularly in deboning. The vloggers say it’s hard at first, but with practice, it becomes easier. Also, it highlights the need to ask for permission from supervisors to record these videos.

Initial Interview

For Filipino butchers aspiring to work abroad, the journey begins with an initial interview process, often conducted through Skype. This phase involves several steps, starting with an agency interview where candidates are asked basic questions about themselves, such as the number of children they have. The inquiries cover a range of topics, including personal details and job-related aspects.

Agency Interview:

The agency interview serves as the first checkpoint in the overseas employment process. Questions typically revolve around personal information and may include queries about family, such as the number of children. These inquiries help agencies assess the candidate’s background and suitability for the job.

Direct Interview by Slaughterhouse:

Following the agency interview, some candidates proceed to a direct interview with representatives from the slaughterhouse. During this stage, more specific questions related to the job may be asked. It provides an opportunity for the slaughterhouse to evaluate the butcher’s skills, experience, and overall suitability for the position.

Final Interview

For Filipino butchers on the path to potential employment in Australia, the journey culminates in a final interview, conducted once again through Skype. This crucial stage involves an interview with the plant manager of the company, marking a significant step towards securing a position in the overseas workforce.

If you don’t feel entirely confident in your English proficiency, the video reassures candidates not to lose hope. The interview can be nerve-wracking, especially when conducted in English. However, this challenge is not a roadblock; rather, it’s an opportunity to showcase determination and a willingness to learn and adapt.

The final interview addresses key aspects, including questions like:

  • Do you aspire to work in Australia?
  • Are you considering relocating with your family?
  • Assessment of basic skills related to the job.

Trade Test:

Another critical stage in the journey of Filipino butchers aspiring to work in Australia is the trade test. This evaluation is a pivotal step in assessing the candidates’ practical skills and is often conducted at Nonit’s, a significant location in the application process.

The trade test involves the presence of the plant manager and a supervisor from Australia. Notably, they make the effort to travel to Digos, underlining the importance of this assessment in the eyes of the hiring team. The scale of the trade test is substantial, with 80 to 100 applicants participating in this challenging evaluation.

Trade Test Results and Reevaluation:

While not all candidates immediately pass the trade test, a reevaluation process is in place to give individuals another chance to demonstrate their capabilities. This reevaluation is designed to provide an opportunity for those initially not accepted to still secure a position, emphasizing the importance of both skills and character in the selection process.

Submission of Requirements:

After successfully navigating the trade test and reevaluation, the next crucial step is the submission of requirements. The process is straightforward but demands attention to detail. Candidates are advised to carefully follow instructions, emphasizing the need for patience throughout the document preparation.

Acquiring all necessary documents may require significant patience, with some individuals waiting almost a year for their paperwork to be completed. The key is to proactively prepare all requirements, addressing local needs as soon as possible.

Mintrac Exam

This is the portal paid by the company. It’s 80 to 100,000 for this exam, and it is required by Australia before you can lodge a visa. Mintrac focuses more on understanding video presentations before answering questions.

You need to pay attention to the document specialist’s instructions. Before the Mintrac exam, there are interviews conducted by Australians, so proficiency in English is necessary. The exam covers aspects of food safety, hazards, what to do, and what not to do inside a meat production facility. It includes information on handling bacteria and sanitation procedures.

Medical Exam

To prepare for the medical exam, follow these guidelines:

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of milk.
  • Refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Maintain physical fitness.

The medical examination includes various tests such as X-rays, blood tests, and more. It is essential to be aware of your body’s condition. If you are uncertain about your health, you have the option to undergo a premedical examination at your own expense.

It’s crucial to note that if you have prior issues with blood or lungs, you may still need to address them one month before the scheduled medical examination. Prioritize your health and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a smooth medical evaluation process.

Visa Lodging

When it comes to visa lodging, it’s essential to adopt a mindset of expecting the worst but hoping for the best, all while maintaining a positive outlook.

Waiting for visa approval requires patience. Even after completing the medical exam, early approval is not guaranteed. The anticipation can be nerve-wracking, and the outcome can be either positive or negative—approved or declined.

Communication with previous employers is crucial. Inform them that you have applied for a visa, as the Australian authorities may reach out to them for verification. This process may take time, especially if employers cannot be contacted immediately, so ensuring that your employer’s contact details are up to date is vital.


PDOS, which stands for Pre-departure Orientation Seminar, is a crucial step for individuals preparing to embark on a journey to another country. This seminar serves as a guide, providing essential information about what you can or cannot do when traveling from NAIA to other countries.

The notable aspect of PDOS is its transition to an online format, making it incredibly convenient for participants. This shift is particularly advantageous during the ongoing pandemic, where various processes, including document submission, have moved to online platforms for safety and efficiency.

Final Briefing

Once you have your ticket, the journey to Australia begins with a trip to Manila for the final briefing. During this briefing, you’ll be informed about everything you need to sign, including contracts and other financial obligations. The cost for this step is relatively high, around 230,000 pesos or 6000 AUD, which covers various aspects of the process.

At the agency in Manila, you’ll meet the DS and other individuals in charge. The principal agency in Australia acts as the broker, and it’s essential to note that you can’t directly approach an agency from the Philippines to the company. The process goes through the principal broker under Australia.

The journey continues from NAIA to Melbourne. Facing immigration in NAIA Philippines can vary – some get approved right away, while others undergo more extensive interviews. It’s crucial to read the contracts carefully beforehand to know how to respond to immigration officers’ questions about your work and the company you’ll be joining.

Indeed, it takes a lot of hard work and patience to fulfill one’s dream of becoming a butcher in Australia. The experiences shared by the successful butchers in the YouTube video should give you a glimpse into what to expect if you are opting to tread the same path in the future.