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Making the transition back to the workforce

A PROGRAM aimed at helping people enter, or re-enter, the workforce was launched this week, targeting those not traditionally found in the ‘unemployed’ basket.

The Federal Government program, Transition to Work, provides parents, carers, and people over 50 with access to recruitment firms and training.

The two-year, $20 million package will bridge the gap between the decision to re-enter the workforce and finding a job, according to the Minister for Employment Services Mal Brough.

“This service is geared towards identifying specific barriers to employment and overcoming them,” Mr Brough said.

“It will provide access to a range of activities such as TAFE courses, help with job applications, computer training, personal development activities such as study skills, assistance with presentation skills and even driving lessons.”

Centacare Employment and Training is one of 34 organisations across the country to have won contracts to supply support and advice to people who have been out of work for two or more years.

Centacare Employment and Training executive director Pauline Robertson said the organisation would broaden job seekers’ horizons.

“The idea is about giving them choices and working out the best plan to achieve what they want,” Ms Robertson said.

“We can identify the most appropriate form of training and conduct it either in-house or to a registered training organisation.”

To be eligible for the Transition to Work program individuals must: be looking to join or rejoin the workforce; have been out of work for two years; and not be in full-time training or education.

The WA Government also is committed to providing funding for people re-entering the workforce.

As part of the Skilling WA initiative, the State Government has allocated $200,000 a year to training to assist mature-age people re-enter the workforce.

It forms part of $4 million funding to be spent over four years focused on providing existing workers with new skills.

Department of Training director general Ian Hill said the program had a strong focus on directing training to industries that may have a poor training culture.

“It also concentrates on improving career opportunities for existing employees, on re-skilling workers in newly emerging industries and in industries undergoing transformation,” Mr Hill said.

The WA Government is seeking submissions from aged-care facilities to receive funding for training.

Training minister John Kobelke said that $250,000 was being made available through the Skilling WA program to provide training to existing workers by encouraging training organisations and employers to collaborate.

“We will also be targeting employers and industry/worker representative bodies rather than registered training organisations. The training will be driven by the needs of the workers and aged care providers rather than training organisations,” Mr Kobelke said.

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