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Skills and Jobs Centre resumes in Colac

A free service reintroduced in Colac aims to give local unemployed people the best chance of filling local job vacancies.
The Skills and Jobs Centre are now available in Colac

The Skills and Jobs Centre has resumed regular face-to-face appointments in Colac after services were curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The face-to-face service is now being offered in Colac on the second and fourth Thursday each month, based at South West TAFE.

Skills and Jobs Centre careers practitioner Michael Absalom said the service works with any member of the community looking for advice and support around careers.

“We see what is happening a bit in Colac is where people are applying for jobs but not progressing getting to the interview stage,” Mr Absalom said. “We work with them on the application process and to match their skill set to potential jobs.”

Mr Absalom said some people needed to improve their applications. “Having a third party look at a resume and cover letter can help to identify the skills employers are looking for, and we’ve had huge success with that.”

The centre is government-funded and provides independent advice to help people to upskill, often minimal or no cost with government incentives.

“We look at each individual’s skills and what experience they may need and pathway they can take to build their capacity,” Mr Absalom said.

“We give people the tools to be ready to seek jobs…employers still love good applicants knocking on their door.”

The centre is not only for young people and also helps mature-aged people looking for a career change

Colac South West TAFE campus manager Mario Varricchio said that with JobKeeper coming to an end, it was important to connect industries and potential employees.

“Local businesses are screaming out for staff from entry-level jobs to executive roles, but there’s also people looking for work that are not passing the interview stage,” Mr Varricchio said. “The Skills and Jobs Centre can help those people to get to the next level.”

However, Mr Varricchio said it wasn’t always easy to match an unemployed person to a job.

“It’s not as simple as saying we have so many people unemployed and so many jobs available – it has to be a fit. There are different requirements to make you the right fit for the job and the centre’s career counselling and the assistance with resumes and interview skills is very much needed.

“It’s a free service and the centre is a one-stop-shop for those who want to work and need a bit of assistance to get through the interview stage, whether that’s a young person or someone looking for a career change or to re-skill.

“The centre also works with industry to find out why people are being knocked back for these roles.”

The Skills and Jobs Centre continued via zoom during pandemic lockdowns but has now returned to fortnightly visits at the Colac South West TAFE campus in Bromfield Street.

The Skills and Jobs Centre is a Victorian State Government initiative and will next operate in Colac on April 15 and 29 and May 13 and 27 and continuing on the second and fourth Thursday of each month. The centre can be contacted on 55 648542.

Skills and Jobs Centre worker talking to SWTAFE student
The Skills and Jobs Centre is a free service being offered at the South West TAFE Colac campus.