COTA Victoria is leading an innovative project to support jobseekers 50 years and over into paid work. The project focuses on providing training to get jobs in the aged care and disability sectors, to meet a growing demand of more than 17,000 new jobs in Victoria by 2023. The project was open to jobseekers who are 50 years and older and living in Brimbank or Melton areas of Melbourne and is now closed for participation. If you are a mature age job seeker, looking for some extra help scroll down for resources.
Who is delivering the Reach, Train, Employ project?
The project is delivered by COTA Victoria, in partnership with the RMIT School of Vocational Design and Social Context, Future Social Services Institute (FSSI) at RMIT University, and Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand (GSANZ). The project is supported by the Try, Test and Learn Fund – an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Reach, Train, Employ has a strong focus on supporting mature age job seekers into the workforce. Participants are receiving support to complete a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability) (CHC33015). The certificate is being delivered by RMIT University. The Certificate III includes 120 hrs of student placement across the Aged care and Disability sectors.
Good Shepherd ANZ provides a Life Coach to implement an individual support plan with participants, to support them to achieve their goals and address any barriers as they arise.
COTA Victoria is the overall manager of the Reach, Train, Employ project and is responsible for the set-up and ongoing progress reports to the Department of Social Services, which has funded this project.
Participants were also offered computer courses through Duke St Neighbourhood House and one to one mentoring through RACV’s People and Culture Volunteer team. COTA Vic also provided participants with the opportunity to hear from and speak to potential employers and people with lived experience as mature aged job seekers, as well people with lived experience of the disability and aged care sectors.
Despite the limitations caused by the global pandemic Reach, Train, Employ continued to be delivered, with participants switching from classroom to online learning. Participants showed great resilience and adaptability.
There were two cohorts, as part of the Reach, Train, Employ project. The first cohort are currently looking for placements and will obtain their qualifications in March 2021. The second cohort will obtain their qualifications in July 2021.
Some of our additional supports for participants in the project include:
- career guidance
- employment assistance through resume writing, interview techniques and understanding the employment market
- enhancing IT and digital literacy
- providing financial counselling
- mental health and well-being support
- assisting with student and employment placements
Who are our participants?
Participants are from the Brimbank and Melton areas of Melbourne. Support was received through local councils, community centres and community health providers, to recruit participants for the program.
Feedback from Reach Train Employ participants
Hear directly from participants about their experience and hopes as mature aged job seekers.
One participant told us: It’s great that you get certificates for modules, so you feel like you’re getting qualified as you go and have the certificates to prove it.
The course is organized and well structured.
And another about the project: It’s really good, especially for people like me – older people who want to get back to work.
I really enjoyed the pre course work. Especially as that was the only time we really got to all work together as a group.
And another about the life coaching from Good Shepherd: It’s nice to have the monthly check ins with her. She’s supportive.
Resources for mature age job seekers
If you are a mature aged job seeker these resources might be useful to you:
Work45+ has been created by COTA Tas, in consultation with mature age jobs seekers, employers and job service providers. It has the information they believe will help more mature age job seekers be employed and valued. It’s for anyone aged over 45 looking for work by choice or necessity, and employers looking for staff.
Working for everyone provides useful information for both mature age jobseekers and the employment services staff who assist them. (Brotherhood of St Laurence)
For more information, contact Lucy Best – Reach, Train, Employ Project Officer, directly on mobile 0499 224 000 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org