Turn down time into upskill time

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Are you feeling like you want to move forward with adapting to this rapidly changing job market but not sure how? It’s a good idea to set aside some time to upskill while you have some down time. Why not search for a free online course to keep up your motivation?

There are courses for just about anything out there! A quick google reveals communicating with animals telepathically (a perfect new low cost hobby), the ATO’s mundane but useful 30 second guide to doing your own online tax returns, instructions for building your own bomb shelter and anything else you have always wanted to know but never had the spare time to research.

Now is also a good time to add value to your resume by learning a new skill.

At The Gordon Skills and Job Centre Geelong many of our clients are doing a 28 day career challenge as a boot camp for job readiness. Check it out on Facebook to get some great tips and suggestions, especially if you feel you don’t know where to start to stay motivated.

You could try Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are free online courses available for anyone to enrol. It is like a try before you buy introduction to university study, only without the accompanying qualification although this can often be obtained at a cost if you complete assessments. These courses are delivered on platforms such as Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn and come from respected global universities.

Like TAFE, other providers such as the Khan Academy and Alison.com have a more bite-sized approach where you could just learn something practical with certificates available for some free courses.

As we have all been dragged into cyberspace to communicate online, you might as well get to grips with user tutorials for programs like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other popular programs for webinar style learning which will be now be featured much more in gaining ongoing qualifications.

You could also sharpen your computer skills for the workforce. Many companies use Microsoft Office 365 as their PC software. You can find free tutorials in Excel spread sheets, MS Word and other office programs popular for administration tasks. Why not practice with a spreadsheet of what is in your pantry and set up an ongoing grocery shopping list to reorder toilet paper and those other luxuries in life?

No computer? No problem. If you have just a phone or tablet to access the internet then You Tube has a host of videos to prepare you for future employment. Look up “7 Body Language Tips to Impress at Your Next Job interview” or “30 Seconds to Impress”. Even some basic info clips for food handling and hand washing protocols provide practical upskilling.

If your devices data is down to almost nil, then don’t despair. Audio podcasts are a useful tool for hearing vital information on the go (or not). Check out Google Play or iPhone’s App Store for recommended free podcast apps to download then search for helpful audio clips.

Lastly, self-help e-books can be borrowed at no cost from your local library website then downloaded onto your tablet for a welcome distraction. Go to the website, use your membership card number and sign up for access through BorrowBox, Overdrive, Cloudlibrary or other apps. Phone to ask a librarian if you need help signing up. Don’t know which title to choose? You could always request the old classic The Power of Positive Thinking first written by Norman Vincent Peale in 1952.

Whatever you choose, now has never been a better time to slow down and focus on learning something new. Happy e-learning!

Copyright C.Caldwell, The Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre 1/4/20

 

Industry Insights into Careers at NDIA

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In these changing times that we are living in, unfortunately we couldn’t all be together at the Skills and Jobs Centre for this Industry Insights event, but we still want to bring you the information that you need. So we switched things up and delivered the event using Facebook Live! Did you get to see it? What did you think of the new format?

If you’re looking for a job that is so much more than a pay-check, you can’t really got past a career at NDIA. The priority of the Agency is to ensure that people with disability continue to get the support they need. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will benefit hundreds of thousands of Australians with a significant and permanent disability, and will provide support for their families and carers. Anyone who has or might acquire a disability will have a new safety net to rely on, as the National Disability Insurance Scheme will offer peace of mind for every Australian.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the most significant economic and social reform since the introduction of Medicare in the 1970’s. Joining the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) means you have the opportunity to help build a new agency. The NDIA is still growing and creating its own identity while developing new and innovative programs for our employees and the Australian community. NDIA employees have a unique opportunity to be involved in the NDIS roll out across Australia.

The NDIA has a strong culture, driven by passion for the work they do and a commitment to supporting people with disability to achieve greater independence. If you’re still wondering if the NDIA is for you, they offers attractive employment benefits and  are committed to assisting employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. Check out this link for more information about why you should work for the NDIA.

Here is some information about the sort of roles available at the NDIA as well as how their recruitment process works.

First of all, as an Australian Public Sector (APS) employer the application process is fairly stringent. It is a competitive selection process based on APS Employment Principles. The process starts through the careers page on the NDIA website. You can apply for a specific role or you can express an interest in working at the NDIA through the Temporary Employment Register, which will match you up with suitable vacancies. When you complete the application, make sure that you follow the STAR (Situation/Task/Action/Result) method when responding to questions. The next step is the interview where you will be faced with behavioural interview questions. If these sounds like new concepts to you, make sure you check in with the Skills and Jobs Centre and book into either the Resume workshop or the Interview Skills workshop to increase your confidence with these techniques.

Now just a word about timelines, as a Government agency, the process can take approximately four weeks, but you are welcome to check in with the recruitment team at any time. Make sure you refer to Cracking the Code for assistance with navigating the APS recruitment process.

One thing that I really picked up from the presentation is that the NDIA doesn’t necessarily recruit on qualifications, it is very much a values based recruitment process. They want the best people in the right roles, so if you are passionate about your community, if you want to make a difference and to give back and are clear about how you can do that, make sure those qualities shine through in every aspect of the application process.

So what are some of the roles you might be looking to apply for?

Local Area Planner – This is an APS4 level role and no medical background is required. This role does require directly working with participants and some typical duties would include, writing up plans, making informed decisions within your delegation and providing access to current and future supports to achieve goals and outcomes. Here is a great video with more information about working as a Planner

Local Area Coordinator – A key skill of this role is to engage and communicate with a variety of community members which require you to be able to tailor your written and verbal communication styles. This role does require specific disability qualifications. Here is a link to a video which explains more about the role and why it’s so important.

Project Officer – This role doesn’t work directly with participants. This role provides advice on how projects are delivered, monitored and reviewed. It requires you to consult and share information with different teams at the NDIA in order to achieve outcomes.

Business Support Officer – This role often acts as the first point of contact for participants so you will need excellent customer service skills both on the phone and in person. Business Support Officers also provide admin support to Local Area Planners and liaise with community providers.

Please note that all roles are advertised as full-time, but don’t let that put you off if you are looking for part-time work. It’s best to bring this up at the interview stage with the line manager. As a general rule, part-time work would be a minimum of three days a week to ensure that you don’t lose contact with your team and with the Agency.

Another way that the NDIA attract new talent to the Agency is by offering three graduate programs open to University graduates.

  • The University Graduate program is an 18 month program which commences in February and includes 12 months in the APS graduate program to learn about life in the public service followed by 6 months in the NDIA Leadership Development program. It is a fantastic opportunity to develop strong professional networks throughout a number of departments in the Agency as well as to develop an individual career plan aligned to your interests. Applications are open to graduates with diverse academic disciplines, including, but not limited to: Finance, Legal, Actuarial, Business, HR, Social Sciences and Allied Health.
  • The Stepping Into program is a 152 hour internship open to university students with a disability. It provides a hands on work experience for students in their chosen field and has proven to close the gap in employment after graduation for students with disability.
  • The Indigenous Australian Graduate Development program is a 15 month program aimed to increase the number of Indigenous Australians employed in Government roles. Participants will receive a Diploma level qualification and on the job training.

For any queries you may have, please contact Sarah Lucas via email: sarah.lucas@ndis.gov.au