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

Industry Insights into Careers in IT

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It’s been a while (actually four years!) since we held an Industry Insights event into Careers in IT and boy have things changed since then. With more and more large organisations moving to Geelong and constant advances in Technology, we thought it was a good time to hear from some of the heavy hitters in the Geelong IT sector to check in about employment opportunities. Yesterday, we were lucky to be joined by representatives from Viatek, Hays Recruitment and Deakin eSolutions to learn about what’s going on around town in the IT sector.

Hays Recruitment

Hays are a specialist recruitment firm based on Pakington St. They have 12 staff and are focused on the South West of Victoria region. They operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

James is the manager of Hays Recruitment here in Geelong. He has recruited exclusively in IT for the last five years for roles based in Geelong and regional Victoria. James regularly works with large organisations such as TAC, WorkSafe, NDIA, GMHBA, Deakin, CoGG, Barwon Health as well as a multitude of companies in the private sector. James recruits for roles ranging from entry level positions to Chief Information Officers. Organisations tend to engage Hays because they need to find someone quickly, they need a specific skillset or they have tried to recruit the position themselves without success. James can look at over 30 resumes a day, places about 100 permanent roles each year and manages about 350 temp staff at any given time.

Deakin eSolutions

On a day-to-day basis, eSolutions works to support 60,000 students and 10,000 staff with basic IT problems, utilise opportunities to grow efficiencies through technology and manage the cultural and business change that results when large-scale, strategic IT projects are implemented.

Hayley has worked at Deakin for just over 15 years with almost eight of those years with the eSolutions team. Amazingly, her career at Deakin started when she was recruited on graduation to lecture in social research methods. Hayley’s first job in IT was an entry level role on the Service Desk. Given her skills and qualifications, she quickly progressed to more senior roles, but Hayley credits having started in an entry level role as one of the reasons for her success later on as a team leader and Manager. One of Hayley’s current roles is as Major Incident Manager and guess what is keeping her busy these days? No surprises, it’s moving student learning fully online and helping staff get set up to work from home!

Viatek Geelong

Viatek specialises in providing businesses with a range of print and copier solutions. There are 30 staff working across offices in Western Victoria, covering administration, sales and a service team. Viatek also have an IT business in Geelong which provides a range of Managed IT, IT project work and cloud solutions to businesses that aren’t large enough to employ an IT Manager.

Drew has a strong business and management background and has recently revamped several of the teams at Viatek.

Here are some tips from the panel to help with tailoring your job application to the IT industry.

  • Research – Research the company, the hiring manager, the type of work they do, the type of skills they need
  • Personalise – If anyone ever sends an application addressed “Dear Hiring Manager” after this session, well, we’ll all be very disappointed with you!!
  • Give them a call – Ask meaningful questions. Think about if I were to start this job tomorrow, what would I need to know? Hint: asking about the salary is not on that list! Use this opportunity to show your passion for the role and the organisation to make sure that your names makes it on to the shortlist.
  • Be realistic – You don’t have to match every criteria on the job description, but be upfront about where your skills gaps are and how you will overcome them
  • Work on your sales pitch – Some graduates are uploading videos to their LinkedIn profile with a pitch about why they want this job / to work for that company. You don’t necessarily have to be in that league, but hone your cover letter so that employers want to read your resume.
  • Follow-up – Researching and applying are the two hard parts! Make sure you follow up to show your interest and gain valuable feedback
  • Working With Children’s Check – Get one! Now! So many IT roles now have this a requirement (think working in schools, working in the disability sector etc), so make yourself ready for an immediate start by having this check already done.

Here are some of the qualities that employers are looking for.

  • Being creative, an innovative thinker and a fast learner are critical skills to helping any organisation stay on top of worldwide changes and adapt to constant digital disruption
  • Demonstrating self-progression and self-taught learning is critical in such a fast-paced industry and a great way to keep industry currency during periods of unemployment.
  • Flexibility is essential, the ability to undertake several roles and to learn different skills quickly is very valuable.

Here are some of the panels’ thoughts about the future job opportunities in the region. With larger organisations moving to Geelong, this has brought IT jobs to the region that simply weren’t needed in Geelong five years ago. What an exciting time to be working in IT?! Here are some of the areas that the panel identified as being in demand;

  • Compliance & Governance – Did you know that every Government department has to keep their paperwork for LIFE, like life, life! Some departments have entire rooms full of paper that need to be scanned and stored electronically in order to meet this requirement.
  • Business Intelligence – Everyone wants to be able to use their data better which is seeing growth in roles using SSIS, SSAS, Tableau and developing dashboards.
  • Security – More and more organisations are engaged dedicated IT security roles
  • Cloud – AWS experience highly regarded

Finally a word about networking. James recommended joining the networking group Geelong Young Professionals. Here is a link to their events page so you can keep up to date. https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/geelong-young-professionals-6839265061

All of our panelists recommended keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and engaging. Did you know that in the US LinkedIn has almost replaced resumes! Start using LinkedIn to follow organisations, follow people and engage with companies you would like to work with.

For help with your resume or interview techniques, come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre at Westfield, Geelong or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.

Follow the Skills and Jobs Centre on Facebook for information about further Industry Insights panels in 2020.

Industry Insights into Careers at WorkSafe

WorkSafe

If you’re looking for an organisation that’s clear about its purpose and plays a vital role in the community, then WorkSafe might be the right place for you. WorkSafe is a unique employer as they have to balance two arms of the business – acting as a regulator and administering the Work Safe Act and running an insurance compensation business. Ultimately the goal of everyone working at WorkSafe is to ensure that every Victorian worker returns home safe.

Yesterday we were delighted to be joined by Gemma Simpson and Ilona Russell from the Talent Acquisition team at WorkSafe to learn about their recruitment process. It was interesting to hear about Gemma and Ilona’s careers and how they have pathwayed into roles at WorkSafe.

Gemma has been at WorkSafe for two years. Her career started at a local radio station, where she also completed a Certificate IV in Business Sales qualification, she then progressed on to completing a Diploma of Business traineeship with a local plumbing company. After relocating to Geelong from Colac, she was working in a retail role at Cotton On Body when she was head-hunted by one of the Recruitment Managers at Cotton On Head Office, which is where her career in recruitment commenced. She then went onto a recruitment role with one of the top agencies in Geelong before commencing at WorkSafe. Gemma’s career history is a great example of the importance of continuing to upskill your qualifications as well as how many employers hire for attitude and train for skills.

Ilona Russell has been at WorkSafe for five months. Ilona had a 14 year career at Woolworths progressing through a number of roles and also completing a degree in Human Resources at the same time. Unfortunately despite Ilona’s intention to continue her career at Woolworths, the HR function relocated to Brisbane which left her looking for work. Ilona also worked with a recruitment agency for two years, before accepting a short-term contract role at WorkSafe which quickly turned into a long-term opportunity and sees her as a permanent member of the Talent Acquisition team. Ilona’s career history shows that sometimes taking a leap of faith and perhaps taking a “sideways” move in your career, can in fact be the best move!

WorkSafe Victoria employs over 1200 people in a range of roles. There are three business units operating within WorkSafe

  • Corporate Operations – Finance, Human Resources, Board Secretary etc.
  • Inspectorate – Health and Safety Inspectors
  • Insurance – Claims, Return to Work etc.

As a side note, Information Technology is a shared service between WorkSafe and TAC and all vacancies for that department will be advertised by TAC.

Ilona handles recruitment for the Inspector roles which are divided into three fields.

  • Specialist – roles requiring high level qualifications like ergonomist, hygienist, psychologist,
  • Construction – based in Essendon Fields, Mulgrave and Melbourne CBD,
  • Multi-disciplinary – Nursing, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Transport, Retail, Hospitality etc.

It is important to note that these are not entry level roles and it is vital that you bring relevant skills and experience, which have preferably been gained by working across a variety of industry sectors. While a qualification in Work Health Safety would be highly regarded, it is also advantageous to have gained practical knowledge and experience of work health and safety through roles such as WHS representative, member of a WHS committee or Return to Work coordinator.

The perks of the Inspector roles include a $98,000 salary plus superannuation, uniform, access to a vehicle and an intensive 16 week on and off-site training program to prepare you for the role.

WorkSafe are trying to change the perception of the Inspector roles within the community to one of support, providing advice, education and guidance to workplaces. A heavy on-site presence is obviously a key component to this role and a key skill is the ability to negotiate and influence stakeholders. There is an admin component to the role also, as a report needs to be written following every workplace visit. This function will be moving to online reporting as technology innovations are implemented throughout the business.

Here is a link to more information about the recruitment process for Health and Safety Inspectors.

https://wemake.worksafe.vic.gov.au/how-to-apply

Many who attended yesterday were interested in roles in the Corporate Operations and Insurance side of the WorkSafe business, so here is some information about the recruitment process for these roles.

A hot tip from Gemma, who recruits many of these roles, was to set up a profile on the WorkSafe Careers website which will then email you an alert when a job matching your skills and interests is advertised.

Here is a link for you to set up your own profile

https://wemake.worksafe.vic.gov.au/register/

  • 10 days – that’s how long the vacancy will be advertised for on the website. Please note that not all jobs are advertised on Seek. When you find a job that you want to apply for, Gemma recommended printing off the Position Description and a copy of your resume so you can make sure the information you are presenting on your resume matches the required skills. This also means that you need to tailor your resume to every job application you are submitting.
  • 3 – 5 days – that’s generally how long it takes to review all of the application received. WorkSafe are one of the growing number of organisations who no longer require Key Selection Criteria to be completed, so make sure you have a strong, well-written and accurate cover letter and resume.
  • 1 hour – that’s how long an interview will go for. The interview will be a mix of technical and behavioural questions and it’s recommended to follow the STAR method when preparing an answer.

If you are applying for a role that is part of a recruitment campaign such as the Inspector roles or a Graduate position, the recruitment process is lengthier…it does take a bit more time to shortlist 30 people from a pool of 2000 applications! A video interview, psychometric testing and a medical assessment may all be part of the recruiting process.

A final word of encouragement from Gemma and Ilona was that if you have the relevant skills and experience, please keep applying for roles. WorkSafe are in a period of growth and are always recruiting positions whether that be as a result of natural attrition or innovation driving the need for new roles. Their first preference is to go to market to gain new talent.

The Skills and Jobs Centre can be valuable resource when it comes to reviewing your job application. The Resume Workshop runs once a month and can help you craft an effective resume and a strong cover letter, book your spot by calling 5225 0700.

Industry Insights into Careers at Wyndham City Council

Wyndham City Council is a place like no other. They are the engine room behind one of Australia’s fastest growing municipalities. They design towns, build roads, run libraries, inspect buildings, manage events, look after kindergartens and so much more. The people who work at Wyndham City Council are leaders, skilled and passionate about community.

It was great to hear that Wyndham City Council is taking such affirmative action to address concerns from the community about employment in the municipality. Council is really prioritising employment for residents and they outlined a number of programs including student placement, early talent programs and traineeship pathways aimed to provide opportunities for people from all walks of life to work at Council.

Those that braved the weather on Tuesday, were able to enjoy a panel discussion featuring key staff from five departments at Council who generously shared information about the roles available in their team as well as some handy tips and tricks to help navigate the recruitment process.

Here are my highlights from the five panel members; 

Mick Keogh (Talent Acquisition) has been working at Wyndham City Council for 12 months. Mick manages the recruitment function at council and with 30 departments and 100 business units there are usually 10-15 roles being advertised. Mick makes it his job to make sure that the recruitment process is a positive experience for every applicant, regardless of the outcome.

Insider Tip (**Total Cliché Alert**) – Be yourself! Use the time at interview to sell yourself, not your resume. This is the time for you and the employer to find out about each other and if you can work together, so don’t waste time pretending to be someone you’re not.

Dave Hamra (Community Planning & Development) has been working with Wyndham City Council for nearly six years and his work as Co-ordinator Neighbourhood Hubs involves leading a team of 25 community development staff located in nine community centres across Wyndham to engage and enable local residents to build a sense of community. While a qualification in Community Services is desirable, relevant experience, being a people person and having a clear passion for working with the community is mandatory for a role in Dave’s team! With over 120 applications being received for a casual role in this team it is a competitive environment, but as Dave personally reads every application, make sure you clearly articulate your passion and excitement and provide examples of your engagement with the local community.

Insider Tip – Have a chat with someone working in that field/role or business unit at Council (if you’re lucky) to find out more about the position, the team and their goals so that you can talk confidently at interview about how you fit into the picture.

Laxmi Boodhun (Finance) has held four roles in three different departments during her three years at Wyndham City Council. She started as a Financial Accountant and most recently is employed as the Team Leader for Transactional Services – which includes Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Banking and Investment. Many of the 60 roles in the Finance department do require you to have a relevant qualification and on top of that your ability to get in and get the job done well is critical. Make sure you include an example of how you have done just that in your cover letter if you are applying for a job in Laxmi’s team!

Insider Tip – Triple check your spelling and grammar. The smallest mistake can count you out early on…particularly when you are applying for a job in a department that relies on attention to detail to get the job done!

Elaine Bugeja (City Amenity & Safety) has over 28 years’ experience in Local Government with qualifications in leadership and effective animal management.  She started her animal career through volunteer work at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in North Melbourne. Although animal welfare is Elaine’s passion, she manages a very broad portfolio of staff ranging from Parking Officers to Local Law Enforcement to Animal Welfare. One role that Elaine is often recruiting for is School Crossing Supervisor. This permanent part-time role (10 hours per week) is well suited to young people or parents returning to work.

Insider Tip – Follow your passion. Skills can be taught and professional development is readily available to assist with that growth, but passion definitely can’t be taught!

Anthony Bonnici (Facilities & Open Space) has been with Wyndham Council for seven years. He commenced his career as an Engineer and is currently the Area Leader of Open Space within the Facilities and Open Space department. Anthony’s team is responsible for overseeing the mowing and horticulture maintenance of over 2100 hectares which includes over 300 parks. If you’re thinking that a role in this department might be for you, a qualification in Horticulture, Arboriculture or Turf Management is desirable. Anthony is also looking for candidates who are eager to learn and progress and who show initiative.

Insider Tip – List achievements from previous roles at the start of your resume to help you stand out.

I also picked up these hot tips about what’s new in recruitment at Wyndham City Council.

Move over key selection criteria! What great news, you’ve got your weekend back! Wyndham City Council has joined the list of organisations that has removed the need to respond to key selection criteria. Instead focus your efforts on your cover letter. Provide a strong, convincing story about who you are, what you are about and how you can provide to the role and to the team you’ll be working with.

Catch you later STAR interview techniques! While the STAR technique of interview questions definitely has a place in recruitment, Wyndham City Council want to know about you. Why do you want to work at Council? How do you want to help the community? How can you benefit the organisation? How well do you align with the strategic plan of the organisation?

Collaboration is the #1 skill for 2020. With so many demands being placed on Council, many business units within the organisation are working together on projects, so being a people person, being adaptable and open to change and working well with different departments is a highly regarded skill.

A word about agency and casual staff. With approximately 300 of the 1800 strong workforce being agency and casual staff, a short-term opportunity certainly isn’t to be sniffed at. Wyndham City Council use a third party agency liaison organisation for short-term work. Now you can’t register directly with them, so I won’t give you a link to their organisation, but they deal with most of the Public Sector recruitment agencies like Hays and RandStad, so make sure you have registered with these agencies.

Here is a link to Wyndham City Council’s career page https://recruitment.wyndham.vic.gov.au/careers

Here is a link to the Skills and Jobs Centre workshops and events for Werribee

https://www.thegordon.edu.au/sitedocs/sjc/what-s-on-february-july-2020-w.aspx

Industry Insights into Careers in the Disability Support Sector

Disability Support

Well we kicked off our first Industry Insights event for 2020 with a full house!!

With the Certificate IV in Disability on the Free TAFE list for 2020 and with lots of employment opportunity in the region, we were delighted to be joined by three of the largest Disability Support providers in the Geelong region.

A job in disability support is life changing for people with disabilities and for the support staff. It can be demanding and requires a lot of patience, but it’s also very rewarding. Disability Support workers are passionate, caring, and dedicated workers, who give people with disabilities the power to live the lives they want.

Now in case you don’t read to the bottom of this blog, I want you to take this piece of information away, so I’m going to put it right here!! All three organisations spoke about the importance of completing the NDIS Worker Orientation Module which has been developed to assist NDIS workers to better support people with disability. It’s a 90 minute module and you receive a certificate of completion, which you can then upload with your resume when job-seeking. It’s going to be what a Working with Children’s Check is to Early Childhood Education, so get a head start on your competition and click on the link below to complete the training.

https://training.ndiscommission.gov.au/

Back to our panel! Our first panel member was Paula Ruff the Practice Leadership Manager at Gateways Support Services.

Gateways Support Services provides quality, responsive services to more than 2000 children and adults with disabilities and their families in the western half of Victoria each year. This community organisation has grown from a grassroots service to a broad-based support service with more than 500 staff across multiple offices, including its head office in Geelong West.

Paula spoke so passionately about the positive change that the Disability Support sector has experienced in the past decade, which has seen so much opportunity open up for people living with a disability.

We were also joined by Kate McLean the Coordinator, People and Culture at Leisure Networks

For three decades, Leisure Networks has pursued a vision of capable, healthy people and inclusive communities. They focus on building life-skills, confidence and social connections. They support people with disability to lead more independent lives and to achieve their aspirations.

Our final panel member was Nikki Young the Recruitment and Wellbeing Lead at genU

For more than 65 years, genU have been providing support for people with disability, older Australians, and people experiencing disadvantage. With over 3000 staff across 200 national locations, genU is committed to building inclusive communities and helping people realise their dreams.

All three organisations follow a similar recruitment process. Vacancies are advertised on their company website and social media pages – genU is the only one who uses Seek and Leisure Networks is the only one who encourages applications to be sent even though there may be no advertised vacancies. Links to their recruitment pages are listed at the end of this blog. All three organisations review each application personally with the direct manager for the position. Short listed applicants will attend an interview and if successful two professional references will be contacted.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your job application for this sector.

Recruit for values and attitude – Technical skills can be taught! While there are some mandatory requirements (Current Level 2 First Aid Certificate, Current CPR Certificate, Current Working with Children Card (WWCC) for employees, assessed by the Disability Worker Exclusion Scheme, Completed NDIS Worker Orientation Module) and a Certificate IV in Disability is desirable, your personal attributes are much more valued. If you are passionate about people of all abilities being treated fairly and being included in the community and are enthusiastic about the work that the organisation does, then you are a strong candidate for employment as a Disability Support Worker.

Lived experience is experience – Many jobs may say “must have a minimum of 6 months experience”. Don’t let this put you off. Don’t discount any lived experience you may have as this is so relevant. Do you have experience with a family member living with a disability? Have you engaged with community members with a disability at school or local sport etc? This all counts as experience.

Casual employment – Did you know that four of the seven members of Leisure Networks leadership team commenced their employment in a volunteer or casual role with the organisation? In all honesty, your first role with any of these organisations is most likely going to be on a casual basis too. Embrace it. Work as many shifts as you can, enjoy the work life balance that this sector offers.

Opportunity knocks – All organisations have such a broad range of opportunities available and many employees start as a casual Support Worker and then find their niche in a totally different role. Take Paula for example, she started at Gateways as a casual support worker in accommodation settings 8 years ago and at the time was not expecting to find that her passion is Positive Behaviour Support, which has taken her into a leadership role today.

Attention to detail – Disability Support work requires skills like taking detailed case notes and following instructions. These skills are also required when submitting a job application! Make sure that you don’t leave the recruitment team wondering about your skills in these areas by submitting a sloppy application – read the Position Description carefully, answer the key selection criteria accurately.

It was so clear from all our panel members, the enthusiasm and joy that they experience from working in the Disability Support sector. If you think that working for one of these organisations could be for you, please check out the current opportunities available listed on their websites below.

Gateways

https://www.gateways.com.au/get-involved/employment

genU

http://careers.genu.org.au/cw/en/listing

Leisure Networks

https://www.leisurenetworks.org/who-are-we/work-with-us/

If you need a hand with your resume or key selection criteria please book into one of our workshops or call 5225 0700 to book a one-on-one career advice appointment.

https://www.thegordon.edu.au/sitedocs/sjc/what-s-on-february-july-2020-g.aspx

Finally if you want to hear more about Industry Insights into Careers at NDIA please contact the Centre on 5225 0700 to register for this free event on Monday 30 March.

Insights into the Building and Construction Industry – 26/11/19

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Building and Construction is often reported as being one of the major growth sectors for employment in the Wyndham region. With major projects such as the Metro Rail and the West Gate Tunnel drawing skilled tradespeople away from construction, but with the demand for building new homes remaining high, it was a good opportunity to hear about apprenticeship opportunities in Building and Construction.

MEGT are one of 11 Apprenticeship Network Providers contracted by the Australian Government to provide Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) services. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, they make apprenticeships and traineeships easy and with completions rates higher than the national average, MEGT are your go-to people in this field.

Today we were joined by Field Operations Manager, Ollie Gladwell who gave us some tips and tricks about finding an apprenticeship.

  • Set up alerts on job-seeking sites, so you receive instant notifications about new opportunities.
  • Have a look at your socials and make sure your profile pics are appropriate for someone looking for work and that your privacy settings are up to date.
  • Keep your resume to two pages and put your qualifications on the front page.
  • Make sure you let employers know if you can speak a language other than English.
  • Put your resume into a plastic pocket if you are handing it out directly at construction sites.
  • At an interview, don’t fall over at the first hurdle! Practice responding to the guaranteed question of “Tell me a bit about yourself”.
  • At an interview, don’t fall over at the last hurdle! Prepare a question to ask at the end which isn’t about money. A good go-to question could be “What are the growth opportunities with this company?”
  • Drink the water! No joke! During an interview, use that time as a pause to help you gather your thoughts and prepare an answer.
  • Check in with your references and make sure they are recommending you as an employee, not just as a nice person!
  • Make sure you let people in your network know that you are looking for work. You never know who they can connect you with.
  • Don’t give up. Stay positive and just remember it is a numbers game. Your perseverance will pay off.

Aqua Tap Plumbing was established in July 2002 and started out with humble beginnings as many trades businesses typically do, from the back of a van and with an apprentice at hand. With great enthusiasm and passion for plumbing and the building industry as well as a dedication to training and developing talented apprentices, the Aqua Tap Plumbing team has today grown to over 50 employees operating from its impressive professional facility located in Point Cook.

Anthony Pante, the Company Director spoke about the importance of employing apprentices. In fact Aqua Tap Plumbing has employed close to 150 apprentices in the past 15 years and some of the original apprentices are still with the company in leadership roles. Anthony is so committed to supporting his apprentices that he has developed a project area in the back of the premises, where apprentices can practice using tools or working on small projects after hours. Anthony encouraged attendees to find an industry that they enjoy and connect with. 17 years after completing his apprenticeship, Anthony is as comfortable on the tools as he is as the Company Director.

Our final guest speaker was Tony Grey, General Manager of HR at Dennis Family Homes. While Dennis Family Homes are probably best known as a quality home builder in the region, Tony explained that they do have two other arms of the business which are shopping centre management and residential estate development. While most of the building and construction work is completed by over 2000 subcontractors, Tony was able to tell us about the non-trade related roles in high demand at Dennis Family Homes such as Administration, Estimating and Drafting.

It was really encouraging to hear from all three presenters that apprenticeships are no longer just for school leavers. Many employers are willing to consider mature-age / career changers, noting that they tend to learn quicker and be more committed to finishing the apprenticeship. Having a mix of skills, experience and diversity is important to many organisations. Most employers do prefer candidates who have either completed Year 12 or have completed a Certificate II (pre-apprenticeship).

Useful Links

Here is a link to MEGT’s Jobs Board https://www.megt.com.au/job-board

Make sure you check out the other resources available on MEGT’s website including a Career Quiz, Aptitude Tests and a Job Seeker Toolkit.

Here is some information about the National Skills Needs List

For help with your resume or interview techniques, come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre at 24 Watton Street, Werribee or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.

Follow the Skills and Jobs Centre on Facebook for information about further Industry Insights panels in 2020.

Contact The Gordon to learn more about pre-apprenticeships being delivered from our Hoppers Crossing campus.

Thank you to Wyndham City Council for their assistance with facilitating this event and providing a fantastic space at the Encore Events Centre.

Insights into Starting a Home-based Food Business – 18/11/2019

Food BusinessWith cooking reality shows reshaping the way we eat, cook and shop and with home-based food businesses on the rise (um there’s over 2000 in Geelong!!) the Skills and Jobs Centre thought it was time to bring together the Environmental Health Unit at COGG and two local businesses to talk about this growing industry.

If you want to sell food or any type of drinks to the public, you need to register with or, notify your local council. The Environmental Health Unit can assist you to obtain the appropriate food registration for the type of business you are running and to understand and comply with your obligations including the Food Act and the Food Standards Code. We were joined by Ebony Connelly and Maria McQueen, both passionate foodies and Environmental Health Officers at COGG, whose main message was that they are here to help.

Below is a snapshot of the registration process which usually takes between 4-6 weeks.

HBFB

Here is a little bit of information about each of those steps. The full presentation by Ebony and Maria is available on request.

  • Kitchen requirements (in a nutshell) – A double-bowl sink with one side dedicated to hand washing, a dishwasher, separate storage for your equipment and food and plenty of bench space for food preparation activities
  • Streatrader – Allows you to operate at markets and events in other municipalities without replicating the application and registration process
  • Markets / Events – The Food Safety standards that are applicable at home need to be replicated at the market…and you need to factor in other requirements such as temperature control during transport, hand washing, hand washing and hand washing as well as food protection (hello sneeze barriers!)
  • EHO home visit – Opportunity to address all of the risks such as cooking, cooling, using high risk foods like eggs, butter, milk and wheat and addressing allergy and dietary requirements
  • Fee Structure – The volume of food produced will decide fee level (small or large scale). The fee in first year is higher as it includes the proposal assessment and first years annual registration fee

Please remember that Council want you to succeed, but they want you to succeed within the bounds of the law. Their main role is to help food businesses make safe food. Please feel free to contact them at any stage with any questions. Their contact details are included in the useful links section at the end of this article.

Next up, we were joined by Jade and Miek who both run extremely successful small businesses, but who are taking their businesses in different directions. Jade has made a conscious decision not to expand and employ staff, but has moved out of her home kitchen to co-locate with one of her suppliers. Miek employs a small number of staff, who work from her bakery which is still located in her garage, but she is continuing to look for ways to scale up the business. They both have fascinating stories about how their food businesses began as well as some tips and tricks for those early days. Read on to find out more about these amazing local businesses.

 Jade has always been the go-to girl among her family and friends when it comes to pre-dinner food and drinks. This passion, combined with her creative streak and broad knowledge of cheese varieties, has allowed her to launch her business. Platter Co by Jade has been in operation for 3.5 years and was one of the trailblazers in the platter and grazing table business in the Geelong region. For the first 12 months, Jade juggled working full-time in a Sales and Marketing role, whilst delivering meat and cheese platter masterpieces on the weekend. After 12 months, the business reached a tipping point where Jade was able to make the decision to work full-time in her business. Jade was able to capitalise on some well-timed media exposure as well as a growing social media presence and repeat business to make the move out of her home kitchen and into a shared commercial space with Pane di Matteo in Highton.

Miek’s journey into small business was a little less straightforward! Miek graduated as an engineer in 2005 in Belgium, but soon realised the industry wasn’t for her. Whilst living in France, Miek spent five years studying and graduated as a patisserie, baker, chocolatier and an ice cream maker. After moving to Geelong with her husband, Miek spent a year researching her market and working on a business plan before making the decision to build a bakery in her garage. Ket Baker is one of only 30 bakeries worldwide to produce sourdough pastries, and one of about only 10 who do it well!! Miek credits the City of Greater Geelong, particularly the Environmental Health team with providing a high level of assistance and support in that researching stage – so don’t forget to include them in your planning stage!

Here are some tips and tricks from Jade and Miek which you might find useful for your journey;

  • Seek out like-minded individuals to be part of a support network – Being self-employed can get lonely, develop a support network who can understand the highs and lows of small business
  • Spend time up front developing a financial plan and preparing to scale up – Don’t forget to factor into your price all the time that will be spent ordering, answering enquiries, doing social media, doing your BAS etc. When business grows (and it can grow rapidly) so do your overheads, so make some plans to manage your capital and don’t over extend yourself.
  • Suppliers are not easy to manage and generally don’t like working with small business! – Choose suppliers based on the service you receive, keep them honest because they can change product without notice which can have consequences for you (think allergens!!)
  • View other companies as a resource not a competitor – Geelong is a small but growing market so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone.
  • Weigh up collaboration opportunities – What is this opportunity worth to you, what is it going to cost to be involved, what is the return going to be? Seek out like-minded small businesses to partner with and cross-promote, rather than businesses who are in the business of collaboration!
  • Develop a fantastic product and maintain the quality which will keep customers coming back – Word of mouth referrals and repeat business are the cheapest forms of marketing!
  • Be flexible, listen to your customers and adapt your product or range based on their feedback

Useful Links

Business Victoria

The Gordon – Food Safety Supervisor short course

Environmental Health Officers at your local Council

City of Greater Geelong

Surfcoast Shire

Wyndham City Council

Economic Development at your local Council

City of Greater Geelong

Surfcoast Shire

Wyndham City Council

Small Business Mentoring Service

Small Business Mentoring Service with COGG

Small Business Mentoring Service

Insights into Warehousing and Logistics – 22/10/2019

Warehouse Workers

The Skills and Jobs Centre is pleased to be partnering with Wyndham City Council to host a series of Industry Insights panels in Werribee. These Industry Insight Panels are a part of a broader scope of work Council is doing to provide employment pathways to Wyndham community members with an emphasis on the Humanitarian Migrant and Asylum Seeker communities.

In October, we were delighted to be joined by three large employers in the Warehousing and Logistics industry sector who very generously gave up some of their time to share some insights into gaining employment in this booming sector in the Wyndham region.

Did you know that the average age of a truck driver is 53? Did you know that transport is one of the few industries where men and women receive equal pay? With 72 different roles in the Transport and Logistics sector, there is sure to be a role of interest to you.

On the panel, we were joined by;

Jacquelene Brotherton – Transport Manager – Oxford Cold Storage

Oxford Cold Storage are one of Australia’s leading providers of third party temperature controlled warehousing. They offer racked storage for over 165,000 pallets and bulk storage for about 20,000 pallets at temperatures between +18°C & -29°C. The facility has the capacity to freeze 12,000 cartons, carcasses and quarter beef daily. In her spare time, Jacquelene is an active member and chair of several refrigerated transport committees and was recently awarded Business Person of the Year at the 2019 Wyndham Business Awards.

Oxford Cold Storage commenced operation in 1975 and the 94 year old Chairman of business still comes to work every day! There are employees who started working at Oxford as Christmas casuals over school holidays in the 1970’s and are still working there today! So when it comes to having a great workplace culture, they must be doing a thing or two right.

One really important thing to note about Oxford Cold Storage, is that all new staff commence employment through a labour hire organisation. While long-term roles might become available over time and in certain areas, most of the work is available on a permanent casual basis. One of the most important attributes staff can have at Oxford is a willingness to learn and a willingness to work. Jacquelene also shared some insights about innovation in the Warehousing and Logistics sector and made the observation that the inability to attract warehousing staff is driving the industry towards automation, however when it comes to autonomous truck driving, she doesn’t believe that Australia has the infrastructure to see that happening any time soon.

Paul Daybell – National Account Director (Government) & Marty Arulappu – Warehouse Manager – Complete Office Solutions (COS) 

COS was founded in 1976 as a local office stationery business in Western Sydney. In those early days COS had two staff and the top selling item was typewriter ribbon. 40 years later COS sells over 21,000 products with over 500 staff, and offices and warehouses in very state and territory…basically they can supply anything in an office, except the walls and the lights! COS have a very strong reputation of embracing diversity with 52% of their workforce being women, 56% of their management team being women and boasting the first female Co-CEO’s in Australia. Paul presented a video showing COS’s impressive commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Luke Day – Senior Recruitment Team Leader – Operations – TOLL Group

With over 125 years’ experience, Toll Group, operates an extensive global logistics network across 1,200 locations in more than 50 countries. Our 40,000 employees provide a diverse range of transport and logistics solutions covering road, air, sea and rail to meet global supply chain needs.

Luke presented a video which showed the diversity of roles available at TOLL, from Truck Drivers to Pick/Packers to Air Pilots and Sea Captains and just a couple of Call Centre Operators! The video also clearly outlined that TOLL are “safety obsessed”. 

One thing I learned about TOLL is that they actually have a recruitment business (TOLL People) which recruits for TOLL Group as well as other organisations and they supply over 1000 temp staff to over 100 locations in Victoria every day! TOLL People have really strong partnerships with Job Active providers and often recruit people from all walks of life into entry level roles, giving them a much needed start in this sector. As Luke put it, TOLL People recruit with heart. 

So if you’re considering applying for one of the 72 different job roles in this sector, where do you start? Well, first things first, a Forklift license is absolutely essential, so make sure you have one before starting to apply for roles in this sector. If you have additional licenses including truck licences, but don’t have any experience driving trucks, be open to starting in a different role such as Picker/Packer. All companies stressed that there are plenty of opportunities to shine, so show employers that you are eager and want to work, show enthusiasm for their organisation and work hard at any task you are given and before you know it you too might be behind the wheel of a $350,000 Kenworth.

Seek is still the most used platform to advertise vacancies, however both COS and Oxford Cold Storage were open to a direct approach by job-seekers. Before you knock on their door though, make sure that both you and your resume are well presented. You don’t need to be dressed in a suit and tie, smart casual is appropriate for this industry and as for your resume, one page of relevant content is also appropriate. In the Warehousing and Logistics sector, the ability to work as part of a team is critical, so when you’re making a direct approach to an employer, make sure they know you are not a lone wolf. Include a couple of good references on your resume and be able to show (and tell) how your skills and experience match what an employer is looking for.

Many thanks to our panel for being so generous with their time, it was great to receive some current tips and tricks to help put our best foot forward.

Come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre at 24 Watton Street, Werribee or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.

The next Industry Insights panel will be on 26 November and will feature employment in Building and Construction, including how to secure an apprenticeship. Follow the Skills and Jobs Centre on Facebook for information about upcoming Industry Insights panels.

Insights into Recruitment Agencies – October 2019

20191021_113247

Did you know that between 2017-18, there were 15,535 new arrivals in the Geelong region, including on the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula? That’s an awful lot more people competing for job vacancies in the region. So if you’re finding job seeking a little bit harder than expected, you’re not alone. Today we heard from three recruitment agencies who all confirmed that it is very much am employers market. They also gave us some fantastic insights into how to manage your relationship with recruitment agencies to get the best results.

On the panel today we were joined by;

Claire Borwick – Hays Geelong https://www.hays.com.au

Hays are a specialist recruitment firm based on Pakington St. They have 12 consultants who operate across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. The majority of opportunities are in the Accountancy & Finance, Procurement, Information Technology and Office Support sectors.

Sarah Lowe-Fernando – Randstad Geelong https://www.randstad.com.au

12 months young in the Geelong market, Randstad have a specialist Government recruitment sector which has multiple job opportunities in Geelong and are actively recruiting for roles in Administration, Business Support, Customer Service, Claims Support, Projects, Recruitment and Risk.

Ebony Raby – SJ Personnel https://sjpersonnel.com.au

A local Geelong company specialising in providing recruitment support in the Geelong region across any permanent or temporary roles from entry level to executive.  SJ Personnel focus on recruiting any and all roles that their client may require.

All three agencies advertise their vacancies on Seek and LinkedIn as well on their own websites. Applications through Seek are preferred, however directly emailing your application to the Consultant is a great way to jump the queue and get your resume seen. It could also open the door for you to be considered for other opportunities which might not have been advertised yet. Recruiters are able to access data from both Seek and LinkedIn about your job-seeking activity and can see how serious you are about looking for a new job based on how active you have been on each site. That being said, many successful candidates aren’t the ones who are actively looking for a job, they are the comfortable but curious, so even if you love your job now, it’s not a bad thing to keep your profiles current.

However you’re probably not reading this blog if you are comfortable but curious, you’re most likely actively looking for work. So, in an employer’s market where recruiters may see over 200 resumes a day, how do you make your resume stand out? Well you might have already heard most of these from a Skills and Jobs Centre Adviser, but…

  • Arial size 10 is the preferred font
  • There is no need for a cover letter, pictures, borders or fancy script
  • Check with the recruiter about whether to send a Word document or a PDF file
  • Use bullet points
  • Have a career summary / professional overview at the top of your resume, followed by transferrable skills, education and computer skills, then your most recent job
  • Don’t limit your employment history to job title and years of service, be specific about your skills

Ebony was able to show us how a computer program they use, is able to eliminate applicants based on key word matching candidates resumes with the job description. As an example, a Sales Consultant role had received 33 applications, however by searching which resumes used the words “retail sales”, 10 applications were removed from consideration in less than 10 seconds!  All of the recruiters have a candidate database, which is their first point of call when filling a role. The database will use keywords from candidate’s resumes to create a talent pool for recruiters to contact. To make sure you are included in that talent pool. when applying for a role, print off a copy of the job advertisement and a copy of your resume, highlight the key criteria and match the exact words from the job advertisement to your resume.

Another key point to keep in mind when dealing with recruitment agencies is to do your best to remove any reasons for rejection. All recruiters are time poor and they need to fill that job today. Don’t give them any reason to put you in the too hard basket!

  • List your referees – don’t make a recruiter chase you for details
  • Take the interview time you are offered – don’t make a recruiter try to find another time with two senior managers just to interview you
  • Fill in the gaps on your resume – been off work raising a family? Put that in your resume. Worked a number of short-term jobs? Put that you’ve done short-term contract work in your resume. Only worked for one company? Highlight any internal promotions.
  • If you are applying for a job that requires a Police Check or Working With Children’s check – get them organised now
  • If you don’t work close to the job opportunity, but are willing to travel – leave your address off your resume

The recruiters were all keen to stress that as soon as you engage with them, it’s an interview. Whether that be over the phone or in their office, how you present is being observed and may be passed along to an employer or recorded on your file notes. So…

  • if you can’t take a phone call, offer to call them back,
  • if you don’t know where the office is for an interview, drive past it the day before,
  • if you can’t remember which job they are talking about, do not say that out loud!

Finally, a little word about LinkedIn. First things first, get yourself along to our monthly workshop! But in the meantime;

  • Make sure that your profile is All Star (which means filling in every section!)
  • Select “Open to Job Opportunities” in your career profile if you are looking for work (you can select that only recruiters see that information, not your current boss!)
  • Keep your profile current and the content in line with your resume
  • Follow companies that you want to work for
  • Connect with the HR team at those companies
  • Don’t forget to include you LinkedIn profile on your resumeRA IIMany thanks to our panel for being so generous with their time. They all encouraged candidate to have an active relationship with their Recruitment Consultant and to keep in touch about opportunities. At the end of the day, Recruitment Agencies are working really hard for their clients / employers, to find the best candidates possible and it was great to receive some current tips and tricks to help put our best foot forward.Need help with your resume, LinkedIn profile or interview skills. Come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre, Westfield or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.

Insights into Casual Recruitment in Retail and Hospitality – September 2019

On Tuesday 10 September, the Skills and Jobs Centre was pleased to present a panel event with a focus on gaining casual employment in the retail and hospitality industry sectors. This event was the second in a series of Industry Insight events being delivered in partnership with Wyndham City Council. The Social and Economic Inclusion team at Council are doing valuable work to deliver a number of projects including providing employment pathways to Wyndham community members with an emphasis on the Humanitarian migrant and Asylum Seeker communities.

We were pleased to be joined by three local employers who are passionate about community and economic growth and were able to share some recruitment tips to those looking for casual work over the busy Christmas period.

The panel was made up of four members. Jonathan Bracy from the Werribee Zoo, Rebecca Pace from KFC and James Alford and Jonathan Jaboor from the Hyatt Group

Rebecca from KFC was the first guest speaker to discuss the career path available at The Retzos Group, who are a franchise that manage many KFC stores in Victoria.

The Retzos Group opened their first KFC store in 1990 in Shepparton, followed in time by another seven stores in 1997. In 1999 The Retzos Group built their first brand new restaurant in Laverton. Fast forward to 2019 and The Retzos Group is now 50 stores strong and employs over 2800 staff.

Rebecca explained that at KFC there is a clear progression strategy which is open to all employees. Most employees are initially employed as a team member. There is no experience required for team member roles as full training is provided to all employees. Training in Certificate III qualifications is also available for eligible employees. Once a team member turns 18 there is opportunity to progress to leading a shift. After successfully leading a shift, there is potential to lead a restaurant, and progress on to leading multiple stores. There is even the option of finally owning your own store!

The KFC brand purpose is “Always Original” and they encourage employees to be their best self, make a difference and most importantly have fun. To apply for a job at KFC head online to their website (http://careers.kfc.com.au), fill in the required forms selecting three stores you’d like to work in and finally upload the required documents for your application.

The next speaker Jonathan from Werribee Zoo provided a run down on the three different casual teams responsible for the visitor experience at the Zoo. There are between 60-70 employees in each team!

  • Visitor Services – Primarily focused on admissions and retail
  • Visitor Engagement – Primarily focused around the visitor paths, engaging with visitors with activities, talks, presentations
  • Safari guides – Primarily focused on delivering our safari tour and other visitor animal encounters

When recruiting for these roles, the main selection process is to identify which candidates have the required and preferred skills identified in the position description. If your skills and experience are a match, the next step is that you will invited to a group interview with 10-12 other candidates. There will be around 10 minutes of questions before participating in a group activity. The whole group interview can take up to two hours and Jonathan’s hot tip to go spend some time at the Zoo prior to your interview, take note of what the employees are wearing and dress similar. Look the part.

Jonathan’s advice to help applicants get through to interview is to triple check the accuracy of all your documents. Don’t accidently address your documents to the wrong business or organisation – oops! Check the spelling of the person’s name you are addressing. Ensure you have read all the required selection criteria before submitting an application. You can find all job advertisements as well as a range of work experience and volunteer opportunities at https://www.zoo.org.au/about-us/careers/

Our final speakers for the day were James and Jonathan who are both Assistant Hotel Managers at Hyatt Place, Essendon Fields. There are currently three Hyatt Hotels in Melbourne with plans for expansion to include another three or four hotels within the next three years!

James and Jonathan spoke with passion about the strong values of the Hyatt Group, one of which is care.

  • Care for their employees to help them be their best.
  • Care for creating a distinct guest experience
  • Care for communities by embracing diversity and creating a culture where everyone matters.

They also spoke about several other values which all complement creating a fantastic work environment but also providing a high level guest experience. How often does an employer encourage you to have fun, not take yourself too seriously, laugh and build joy into your work? What about being encouraged to fail often in order to success sooner?

Some encouraging key points that from James and Jonathan’s presentation were that The Hyatt Group values communication skills over technical skills and that both had worked really hard to get a foot in the door, so don’t give up!

The Hyatt Group offers a range of career entry points including internships and work experience opportunities. To find the jobs available at Hyatt visit their website https://careers.hyatt.com/en-US/careers/ and search by location (Melbourne).

Need help with your Resume? Come along to the Resume workshop on Wednesday 30 October at 24 Watton Street, Werribee.

Need some career advice? Book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700