Britain”s hardest-working father emigrates to Australia with his wife and 12 children because the future back home is too grimDave Jones made headlines in 2010 by refusing to live on state handoutsFamily spent 8,000 on tickets to Oz… even though they don”t have jobsBut say it is worth the risk because there are “better opportunities” there
A family of 14 who refused to claim benefits hasturned its back on Britain and flown to Australia in search of a brighterfuture.
David and Jackie Jones, who have seven girls and five boys, have never claimeda penny in state hand-outs.
Instead, Mr Jones, 42, worked a 12-hour night shift to earn enough money tosupport his family and ensure he had time to spend with his children.
New life: Dave, 41, and Jackie Jones, 43, have decided to move with their 12 children Charlotte, 12, Melissa 16, Callum 18, Bradley, 10, Liam, eight, Lydia, four, Shay, three, Hayley, 17, Jayden, six, Stephanie, 15, and Chelsie, 14, to Australia for better opportunities; baby Lily, aged four months, is not pictured
“Lack of opportunities”: Dave and his wife are moving their brood to Australia but Dave has yet to secure a job Down Under
AUSTRALIAN VISA RULES
Experienced professionals can apply for a working visa in Australia through the General Skilled Migration Program (GSM).
Applicants have to take a skills migration test, which assesses the ability of would-be migrants to work in Australia.
Thecountry also has a Skilled Occupation List (SOL), which details those professions which are highly valued and where skills are needed, including medicine, engineering and accountancy amongst others.
Before taking thetest, the applicant’s occupation, years of paid work experience, standard of English and highest qualification achieved would all be taken into account.
If a migrant fulfils the criteria for an SMA, a jobseeker’s husband or wife and children will be their dependents with the family being allowed to stay in Australia for up to five years.
After living in the country for four years, the family can apply for Australian citizenship.
Australianauthorities are clamping down on migrants living off government-backed benefits, so rigorous testing applies in these circumstances.
Mr Jones hit the headlines in 2010 for refusing to live on benefits despite the financial strain of providing for so many children.
The 42-year-old, from Barrow, Cumbria, chose instead to make up the extra money by working gruelling 12-hour night shifts in paper mill Kimberly-Clark.
It also gave him extra time with his children during the day.
He has now given up his job of 15 years and yesterday the family touched down in Brisbane to start their new life.
Mr Jones said: “I have got to do the best for my kids and I feel like the way the UK is at the moment that the opportunities I want for my children are not going to be there.
“So initially we all sat down together as a family and told them what we were thinking and asked who wanted to move and who didn”t.
“But they all wanted to, it was unanimous.”
Believing Australia would provide a better future, he made the long haul flight with Jackie, 43, and children Charlotte, 12, Melissa, 16, Callum, 18, Lydia, four, Jayden, six, Liam, eight, Hayley, 17, Shay, three, baby Lily, aged four months, Bradley, 10, Stephanie, 15 and Chelsie, 14 on Saturday.
Speaking shortly before the flight, Dave said: “The journey doesn”t really faze us, to be honest.
“We have been to Majorca for the last five years and we have just got back from Euro Disney on the Eurostar.”
“It all went smoothly, so we will call those practice runs.”
Down Under: The Joneses have moved to Brisbane, the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland
Leaving it behind: Barrow in Cumbria, where the Joneses have left behind after deciding to emigrate to Australia
The family will initially stay with friends Frank and Mandy Tucker in Brisbane until Dave can find work and a house big enough for their brood.
Dave said: “What I have said to everyone is that I don”t want any tears because this is a happy time.
“It”s not a bereavement and no-one”s died and nothing bad has happened.
“It is a happy time because it is a new life and a new opportunity for all of us.”
Cost in the UK
Cost in Australia
Average weekly shop for 14
A three course meal for 14
A litre of petrol
A round of cokes for 14
A five bedroom home
400,000 (and up) 100,000 (and up)
Mr Jones”s shifts at the paper mill brought in about 38,000 a year, with a further 5,000 in overtime and bonuses. The family also received child tax credits and child benefit of617 a month.
His first job was at his parents” pub when he was at school and he also worked in shipyard as well as selling insurance.
The oldest children also had jobs so they could pay for their own clothes.
Happy families: According to Mr Jones the decision to emigrate was a unanimous decision