After working on a big rail project for almost a year, Wanda received the news that all employees dread – she was made redundant.

As a mature-age job seeker, she spent 12 months looking for work and facing constant rejection.

“The worst part of applying for jobs is that it’s just rejection rejection rejection. In the end, you go into your shell.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re just nothing,” Wanda shared.

Wanda’s situation is not an uncommon one. In recent data shared by the Department of Social Services, the job seekers who spend the longest amount of time on Newstart are mature-age workers struggling to find a job. Some of them don’t work again.

As a registered mature-age job seeker with PeoplePlus, Wanda met the requirements to participate in the Career Transition Assistance training program. She was referred to PeoplePlus’ training arm – AETS – where she met trainer Christine and started a new chapter of her life.

“I found out about the CTA course and I thought I should push myself – I’m not working, it’s giving me a goal to get up every morning and go and do something.

“I thought I’d pursue it further just to see what it’s all about,” Wanda said.

The CTA program – run by trainer Christine – aims to increase job readiness of participants by building their confidence and skills. Participants can learn more about available job opportunities in their local area and how to tailor their applications to specific roles.

Perhaps most importantly for many mature-age job seekers, the CTA program provides practical assistance to develop their technological and digital skills, which is paramount when applying for jobs online.

“My resume was originally 11 pages long! Chris said recruiters don’t want to read a novel, so we condensed it into one and a half pages.

“We did mock interviews where I found I was talking more about myself rather than what I could do.

“If you don’t know how to use a computer it’s no big deal – they’ll teach you.

“They’ll teach you interview tips, you’ll learn the best ways to dress and present yourself.

“It gives you confidence,” Wanda shared.

As it turns out, confidence is key. In a recent national survey ‘Australia Talks’, almost half of Australians aged between 50-64 shared that they wouldn’t be confident to find new work if they lost their current job. Trainer Christine had experienced this herself.

“Having been someone who’d been unemployed for several years, I know what it feels like to keep hitting a brick wall when applying for a job,” CTA trainer Christine shared.

“We really do provide the skillsets, confidence and self-esteem to mature-age people to actually achieve success in getting that next job.

“The final thing we do is a career pathway plan,” she said.

Christine noted that for Wanda, her personal resolve supported her quest to find employment.

“Wanda was determined to find another job, and the fact that she did is really great.

“It might not be in the area she excels in – which is admin – but having a job can lead to another job.

“She’s got the personality and the drive – she’ll get there,” Christine said.

Wanda is now happily employed in the deli at her local Woolworths supermarket and recommends that if a mature-age job seeker wants to work, they should commit to themselves by learning new skills.

‘’The support from the Career Transition Assistance is fantastic.

“I’m a lot more confident than what I was. I was excited to know that I got hired. “CTA is well worth giving a go – they teach you everything.”

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