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Committee for Geelong's Weekly Addy Opinion Piece - Gordon's Skills and Jobs Centre

Earlier this month, the Committee for Geelong had a tour of The Gordon's Skills and Jobs Centre which was recently opened by local member - and new Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Corrections - Gayle Tierney.  While the Centre has been operating since March 2016, it was moved from The Gordon's campus to Westfield in October of this year - in the hope that more people would be able to access the services due to the central Geelong location. This has proved to be true with 84 attendees to the monthly workshop series, 152 one-on-one appointments and 88 Ford workers visiting the Centre in the first month after the move.  Overall, the Centre has touched the lives of close to 900 people from our region.  

During the official opening tour, we learnt that the Centre is open to all job seekers, career explorers and retrenched workers and the services are free. The experienced and qualified staff help job seekers access a wide range of services, from career management and development to offering advice when it comes to taking a leap of faith by changing careers.

Some of the services include careers coaching and advice, employer and networking events, training and skills guidance, career transition workshops and job market information.

In addition to this, the Centre offers one-on-one appointments where staff can provide in depth information on career planning, development and change decisions, job search support and interview coaching, training and reskilling advice and assistance when it comes to drafting job application documents.

Job seekers are also invited to attend the regular workshops where they can learn to become a standout applicant, develop interview skills and refine their resumes. These workshops are an ideal way for job seekers to feel supported.

The Skills and Jobs Centre is also part of the Ford Transition Project which means the Centre is staffed with a representative from Auto Skills Australia (ASA). This initiative is in operation now until April 2017 with the aim of supporting ex-Ford workers with connections to relevant services such as outplacement providers, jobactive providers, training organisations, finance and superannuation services, health and wellbeing as well as Government and community networks.

Workwise Women is another successful program that began in the second half of this year. It focusses on women who feel underqualified, underemployed, under pressure or overextended between family and work expectations. Many attendees undervalue their transferrable skills, former experience and are lacking in resilience and assertiveness. To date, 26 women have successfully completed the program and another in-take is underway.

The Committee for Geelong's recently released Winning from Second international research report reinforces that it is possible for our great city to successfully change from an economy based on manufacturing.  However, in order to do so, our community needs continued access to, and support from, tertiary education providers.  Given this, both The Gordon, and its excellent Skills and Jobs Centre, are a vital part of Geelong's transformation.  




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