Employment Workshop: Critical Steps to Employment


As we know, “for far too long, people in remote communities have missed out on economic opportunities and have been stuck in cycles of poverty”. To combat the high rates of unemployment in remote communities which is unacceptable and has encouraged partnerships with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peak organisations and Federal Government.

Revamping Community Development Programs

Without reiterating the obvious, the situation mentioned sparked a review into the failing community development program, initiating urgent change and the new program would be grounded in “self-determination”, encouraging local communities in deciding what jobs would be created. Ashburton Aboriginal Organisation (AAC) is one of the peak organisations working alongside community building individual capacity and enhancing community capital.

Hosting the Employment Workshop

On the back of community interest and identified needs, AAC hosted an employment workshop to address the critical steps to employment, such as confidence in resume and cover letter writing. This positively attended workshop was a partnership between AAC and Empowering People in Community EPEC. We had seven jobseekers from mixed genders and age range and although we had three participants who did not attend nonetheless, this made for a very inclusive and personal delivery.

Highlights of the Workshop

One of the highlights of the training was the Holland Code Test, a personality test designed to help you understand yourself, with a particular focus on careers. It was an enlightening moment that awakened most participants to their endless possibilities. The cover letter writing was also received with enthusiasm from our passionate cohort, who were surprised by how important a well-structured cover letter can be in influencing an employer to continue reading the resume or submitting the application.

Community Building Through Shared Meals

From a lived experience breaking bread or providing food at these training workshops is a great ice breaker and motivator in bringing people together. Sharing a healthy meal has enormous rewards and is a convincing way to celebrate our achievements. The employment workshop was no exception, a healthy lunch was provided along with stimulating conversation and a dialogue which allowed us to break down barriers and debunk stereotypes.

Enhancing Attendance and Support

Another catalyst and contributor enhancing our employment workshop attendance has been scheduling jobseeker contact appointments, on the day of our planned workshops. Organising this assisted attendance rates and deterred FTAs automatic suspension of social benefits.

Positive Feedback and Looking Ahead

Jobseekers who attended the Employment Workshop gave feedback with positive responses. The trainer was approachable and engaging, and despite initial apprehension, the topic (resume and cover letter writing) was interesting and interactive. Jobseekers felt they walked away with new and practical knowledge and skills, and they are looking forward to the interviewing techniques workshop, which is next month.

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