My partner has a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from one of the best universities in the world and extreme interest in low level electronics engineering. His research career fell through a few years ago (that's the tragic state of research funding these days) and he's spent the last few years dealing with depression surrounding this and just tinkering/building devices for a portfolio.
He has no professional work experience in electronics engineering (despite living and breathing it on the daily) and cannot get any firms who do electronics or any employment agencies interested in talking to him about a role in any capacity (even just to get experience). He hasn't tried that hard though and needs more advice/input.
What "stepping stones" are there between no experience and professional positions?
Are there any firms, or class of firms (anywhere, but we're in Australia but can easily relocate O/S for his career) that would be sympathetic to people in his position?
NB: Question here is about getting work experience, we've taken this question in to consideration: Omit a doctorate from resume if overqualified?