Jobseekers and employers who took part in a recent recruitment event in Wollongong have hailed it as a great success.
At the First Steps to Success event, run by atWork Australia, sixty Illawarra locals who were job-ready met with businesses that had positions they needed to fill quickly.
More than half of the jobseekers were hired on the spot or are gaining new skills, and one local business hired nine candidates at the event who were able to start work immediately.
atWork Australia helps people living with disability, an injury or a health condition, or those who require additional support, to find sustainable employment.
Staff work with people to identify their goals and aspirations, build skills and job-readiness and support them through interviews and into employment, as well as work with prospective employers to ensure their needs are met.
atWork Australia’s senior manager of employer engagement Kylie Waters said the event brought together local businesses with the aim of supporting people looking for work through the Workforce Australia and Disability Employment Services programs.
It allowed employers to meet candidates they might not have encountered through traditional recruitment channels.
“We aim to bring together everyone in the community who can help people find meaningful work or support them on the path to finding work,” Kylie said.
“More employers have upcoming interviews with the clients who attended.”
Mark Beaver was one jobseeker who landed work after attending the event.
“I talked to an employer about my background and volunteer work in woodwork. They had a job working with students, helping them to assemble flat packs as part of a weekly class,” he said.
“I was so excited to finally get a job. Not to mention doing something I am passionate about. It was a role I didn’t realise was out there and I can’t wait to start working.”
Joshua, another client who found work, said it was a great opportunity to practise becoming comfortable talking with employers.
“It helped me shake the nerves for my next interview, where I felt more confident and landed the job.”
Kylie said clients could face barriers to employment through traditional recruitment processes, and events such as these allowed employers to meet candidates in person.
“They get to know them in a more welcoming and comfortable environment,” she said.
”Local businesses also save time by meeting a variety of candidates at once and being able to interview on the spot.”
Corrimal business Baker Street had recently had a high turnover of staff but being able to meet several clients in one spot saved time in the firm’s recruitment.
Registered training organisations and local community organisations also attended the event to support clients in finding what they needed to be work-ready.
“Some clients might meet an employer they are really interested in working for but don’t have the relevant tickets or licences,” Kylie said.
”They are then able to sign up for those things at the same event.
“We know the difference meaningful employment has on people’s lives, and we can see the benefits reliable and motivated staff bring to these local businesses.”
atWork Australia has several offices in the Illawarra. First Steps to Success events run quarterly. For more information, visit atWork Australia.