Rochelle Dickenson works as a recruiter for Employment Plus in Devonport (Tas.) where she is building partnerships with the local community and helping equip job seekers to find employment.
How many people are utilising your services each week?
We have a caseload of approximately 380 clients on our books at any one time, with about 30 to 40 people walking through the door each day. On top of that, we also run a number of courses. We usually have one or two courses happening each week, with about 10–15 people per course doing things like forklift accreditation.
We also have a job-searching group that runs on a weekly basis, where a consultant spends time with around 10 people, taking them through different methods of looking for work. The consultant not only helps them search through traditional job ads, but works with them to utilise new avenues like social media. We also spend time cold-calling potential employers to maximise job seekers’ chances of finding work.
What are the specific challenges facing job seekers in Devonport?
Perhaps our biggest challenge would be finding suitable entry level positions, and this impacts both younger and older job seekers. There’s a real lack of trainee and apprenticeship opportunities, but it is a very competitive workforce across the board in Devonport.
As an example, we recently had a new Bunnings store open, and while 1500 people applied, they only had positions for 150.
The Salvation Army Employment Plus is now a Disability Employment Service (DES) provider also. What are some of the ways this will help you make a difference in Devonport?
We hope that this new initiative will generate more talk about Employment Plus and raise awareness of the program. Because we are such a trusted organisation and do a lot of one-on-one work, this is a great opportunity to help us with getting our DES clients into work.
What are some of the key parts of your role?
As a recruitment consultant, I have built relationships with employers around the North West region. My main role is locating job vacancies that can be disseminated across the whole site.
But I also have a case load of my own, and have approximately 60 clients. I’m able to do a lot of one-on-one work helping them with resumes, cover letters and presentation and ensuring that they have the best possible chance of finding a job.
What’s one piece of encouragement or advice you would give to people searching for work?
What I tell my clients is never give up or lose hope. Good things can take time, but it is important to have faith in yourself. One thing we always tell our clients is, “Get up. Dress up. Turn up—and never give up.”
To get in touch with Employment Plus and find out how they can help you, you can contact them on 136 123. Please note that if you are feeling distressed, Lifeline is available to help you, 24 hours, on 13 11 14.