Mak­ing most of bad run

Break­ing the un­em­ploy­ment cy­cle can be done, writes

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Classifieds -

BE­ING un­em­ployed but want­ing to work is hard – and the longer spent in limbo only makes things harder.

Gaps in the re­sume be­come larger, ref­er­ees be­come less rel­e­vant, ex­pe­ri­ence be­comes out­dated and it’s easy to lose mo­ti­va­tion.

But job­seek­ers can make the most of their time while un­em­ployed by en­rolling in the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Work for the Dole ini­tia­tive.

The work ex­pe­ri­ence pro­gram places job­seek­ers in ac­tiv­i­ties where they can gain skills, ex­pe­ri­ence, con­tacts, ref­er­ees and con­fi­dence to get back into the work­force.

For some job­seek­ers, the pro­gram is com­pul­sory but oth­ers sign up vol­un­tar­ily to reap the ben­e­fits.

Re­cip­i­ents of New­start Al­lowance or Youth Al­lowance or those re­ceiv­ing Par­ent­ing Pay­ments whose youngest child is at least six years old need to com­plete an An­nual Ac­tiv­ity Re­quire­ment for six months each year.

This might be through Work for the Dole or an­other ac­tiv­ity such as part-time work, part­time study or vol­un­tary work.

Those aged 30 or younger need to com­plete 25 hours a week while those aged 30-59 years com­plete 15 hours.

Job­seek­ers with only a par­tial ca­pac­ity to work or prin­ci­pal car­ers can roughly halve their com­mit­ment.

Em­ploy­ment, com­mu­nity and work ser­vices provider Work­skil Aus­tralia is one or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps find Work for the Dole place­ments for job­seek­ers.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cole Dwyer says most job­seek­ers are keen to break the un­em­ploy­ment cy­cle and make them­selves work-ready.

“Th­ese place­ments are an im­por­tant step­ping stone in a job­seeker’s jour­ney to sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment and fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence,” she says. “Con­fi­dence and feel­ings of self-worth can take a bat­ter­ing when you’re strug­gling to find a job.

“It can be­come a vi­cious cir­cle, mak­ing it even more dif­fi­cult to en­ter the work­force.

“It is time that we de­bunked the myths that have un­fairly tar­nished and dragged down un­em­ployed peo­ple in the past.

“From the many un­em­ployed peo­ple Work­skil Aus­tralia as­sists, there is an over­whelm­ing de­sire to con­trib­ute to the com­mu­nity in some way.

“The chal­lenge ahead is to en­cour­age more or­gan­i­sa­tions to be in­volved as the more or­gan­i­sa­tions that en­gage with job­seek­ers, the more the com­mu­nity as a whole will ben­e­fit.”

ADRI­ANNA Zotti was long-term un­em­ployed when Work­skil Aus­tralia con­nected her with RSPCA SA to vol­un­teer as part of the Work for the Dole pro­gram.

“When you’re un­em­ployed, you strug­gle to find a rea­son to get out of bed in the morn­ing, but in the Work for the Dole pro­gram you have a

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