Industry Insights into Horticulture and Land Management

Considering a career in Horticulture or Land Management, but don’t know where to begin?

On Tuesday, February 16th, Wyndham City, with The Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre’s support, presented to the community about upcoming opportunities for work and education in Horticulture and Land Management industries. 

Horticulture and Land Management is about agriculture, gardens and gardening, landscaping and the environment. What we eat, where we live and work, the best use of our land, the soil, water and air to grow the best environment for our community. 

We were joined by industry experts currently working in the field, Taylah Scolaro from All Green Nursery, James Brincat from Parks Victoria and education representatives, Peter Fitzgerald from The Gordon and Brendan Bolton from AMES Australia.

We were thrilled to be hosting this event for the community to highlight the fantastic job opportunities available and the education offered via AMES and The Gordon, to pathway you into employment.

Taylah Scolaro from All Green explaied the business employs 100 staff across 3 sites in the Wyndham & Epping regions, and they are looking to expand. The family-owned and operated business pride themselves on their family environment and their quality services and products. Taylah joined the panel today and advised of the different roles in their business, what they’re looking for in potential employees and their application process. 

Various roles with All Green include:

  • Nursery Retail Sales Assistants, team leaders, managers
  • Landscape business Support positions (supporting with plant orders)
  • Propagation Team – Assistants, Maintenance of plants, Irrigation experts, Disease control. 

Day to day responsibilities for employees in the propagation team:

  • Cutting
  • Repotting
  • Machinery operations
  • Physical Labour

Taylah explains the expansion of their propagation site would hopefully see All Green supplying plants to the majority of the Nursery’s across the Wyndham region right down to Geelong. The development would open up employment opportunities for the local community. 

James Brincat, the Area Chief Ranger at Werribee Park, joined the panel to represent Parks Victoria. Parks Victoria manages around 18% of the wetlands, parks and Gardens in Victoria. They have a team of around 12-15 people working across Wyndham parks; Rangers and Horticultural Rangers.

James highlights that Certificate qualifications in Horticulture are a base-level entry requirement for securing work with the organisation. 

He suggests inquiring about their Seasonal Ranger program which can pathway you into secure employment with Parks Victoria. Here
Applications for this program are open towards the end of October/November. it can be very competitive, therefore having some training and experience prior to applying can make you stand out from the other applicants!

These opportunities seem too good to be true! But they’re not, and they’re ready now for you to express your interest and get involved!

AMES Australia has put together an Introduction to Horticulture and Land management pre-accredited training. This course will be great for those who want to build their industry language, skills for work and confidence to complete higher levels of education

If you think you need extra literacy and numeracy support before diving into accredited training, this course is for you! 

Brendan Bolton, who joined us on the panel will be facilitating the training. His intense knowledge of the industry and his hands-on experience will help you understand what’s involved in working in horticulture and land management and will almost certainly get you excited about moving on to the further training, or straight into employment. 

The next opportunity is one not to be missed. Peter Fitzgerald, the Program Manager of the EnviroTech department at The Gordon, has reached out to industry to find out what qualification are necessary for you to gain entry-level employment in horticulture and land management. 

With industry advice in mind, Peter has crafted a Horticulture and Land Management Short Course comprising 5 accredited units from the Certificate II in Horticulture. This part qualification will set you up for further education, or better yet employment with Horticulture partners around the Wyndham region.

To read more about these courses visit –

You can express your interest in either or both of these courses, and we will contact you about the next step! 

In closing, if you have a passion for gardening, would like a change of career, love working in team environments with ample support and guidance and enjoy working in the outdoors, this education to employment pathway is for you! 


Watch the full Industry Insights into Horticulture and Land Management session: Click here

Wyndham City – Pathway Courses
Were your considering one of the pathway courses discussed on Tuesday at the session? Want to learn more?
Head to Wyndham City EOI page for more information – Click Here

Skills and Jobs Centre
For all your career and employment needs the Skills and Jobs Centre is here to help.
If you need Application. Resume or interview preparation support contact us today – Click Here to book
Alternatively contact us on 5225 0700 or email us at

All Green Nursery
Follow their Facebook page for regular job opportunities!
Visit their Website for more information on their business, their locations and their team!

Parks Victoria
Visit parks Victoria Website to get a more in depth insight on their business and the parks they manage and while you’re there, check out their Career Page

Thank you to Josh Badenoch from Wyndham City for facilitating the session, and for his role in collaborating and coordinating the education and employment pathways for our community.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us!

Industry Insights into Apprenticeships and Traineeships

Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
What are they, and how can you start one ASAP?

Starting your career as an apprentice or trainee can lead to many career opportunities, and pathway you into in-demand, and well-paid industries. Read on to hear more about the alternative way to find the right apprenticeship or traineeship for you, and the job opportunities available now. 

If you are a hands-on learner, driven, and keen to earn money while you gain a qualification, an apprenticeship or traineeship could be for you. 

Are you thinking, Office Administration? There are traineeships available in this industry, work and study for 12 months and gain a Certificate III in Business Administration. What about Carpentry, work full time with an employer in the building industry, study 1 day per week, or for a full week once a month and gain a Certificate III in Carpentry in 3 to 4 years; the opportunities after completing this apprenticeship are endless. 

One of The Gordon’s current apprentices Elliott Lanyon joined the panel to discuss his experience as an apprentice, how he started and what his career aspirations are now that he is nearing the completion of his course. 

Elliott chose a carpentry apprenticeship as once qualified the opportunities can lead to jobs as a Carpenter, Site Foreman, Project Manager, Builder and even open the doors to own and run your own business. 

There are plenty of ways to find an apprenticeship or traineeship. Elliot explained a mentor at his football club advised him never to underestimate the value of approaching an employer to introduce yourself, and this is what Elliott did; a week later he started work and hasn’t looked back. Using this approach shows you’re passionate about getting started and forward-thinking. 

Alternative ways to find an employer and get your career started are by contacting an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers, Group Training Organisations or researching via Job Search websites. 

Elliott provided some tips on being a first-year apprentice and tackling the training with The Gordon. 

  • Research the training provider, luckily Elliott speaks highly of The Gordon’s training. He enjoys studying one day per week, as it allows him to focus on the training component at trade-school, rather than studying after work at home. 
  • During the initial stages of your apprenticeship, be attentive, “read the play”, don’t sit around and wait to be told what to do, be willing to learn and be proactive! 
  • Be a team player; arrive on time, and work hard. 

We were also lucky to be joined by Cat McCarthy from McCarthy Plumbing, a recent winner of the Trades Business of the Year award. 

Their business consists of several apprentices, all attending trade school with The Gordon. Cat is passionate about the apprenticeship and traineeship pathway options for people, having completed a traineeship herself and coming from a previous role as a traineeship consultant, she sees the value in learning as you work and earn. 

McCarthy is currently offering a School-based apprenticeship opportunity in plumbing for 2021. Cat expressed, as Elliott did, the importance in contacting an employer directly to put yourself out there. If you are considering plumbing as a career pathway while enrolled in High school, give McCarthy Plumbing a call, be confident and grab this fantastic opportunity while it is still available! 

Evan from NextGen Jobs joined us to give an insight into a ‘different’ kind of employer for apprentices and trainees. 

NextGen jobs is a Group Training Organisation (GTO) who are the employer through the duration of your apprenticeship. Evan and his highly skilled team build and maintain relationships with local employers who host their apprentices and trainees through their training. 

NextGen currently employs 600 Apprentices and Trainees across Australia. They are a not for profit organisation assisting those looking to start a career. They can offer you advice on new industries that are in-demand to ensure that you can find employment that suits you. They also work closely with these businesses to place you into employment and see out your training. 

Evan highlighted industries that are in-demand at the moment. Farming and agriculture, cybersecurity, health services, robotics, engineering including fusion welding and laser welding; these careers need to be acknowledged to increase awareness of different types of roles you can be employed in, that aren’t the ‘traditional’ apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities around. If any of the above interest you, reach out and contact NextGen today. 

We heard from Adam Bell, the Coordinator of Parks Management at Wyndham City. They currently employ 65 staff, with three apprentices on board. These apprentices are at all different stages of their apprenticeships, all employed through NextGen. Adam started his career as an apprentice with Wyndham City, completing on the job training, Adam was able to progress in his career to the coordinator role he is in now. Within government organisations, there are so many opportunities to develop and grow in your career; keep an eye out for work at your local council!! 

The Gordon’s very own Lorenzo, a skilled carpentry teacher joined the panel to outline the training requirements for a carpentry apprentice. The best part of training with The Gordon? All trainers are required to have undertaken 15 years of work in the industry. Lorenzo highlighted that the apprentices attend two days of trade school per month; this will vary for different courses and industries. Apprentices complete a combination of theory and practical assessments. Practical components are set out as they would be on a job site; once completed, online assessments are undertaken. Lorenzo explains that every apprentice is different, so to succeed at trade school “stick it out, commit yourself, ask questions.” The structure of the learning environment is very different from a mainstream learning environment, so if you are feeling nervous that it will be as high school was, it’s not! 

Check out the Gordon’s apprenticeship and traineeship courses here

The application and interview process:

Well, today we were joined by those in the industry who explained what it takes to become an apprentice or trainee and what you can expect during the lifecycle of your training.
Want to be considered for the job?
Show interest, research and build your knowledge of the company, know your position description, be enthusiastic about where you want the job to lead you.
How to get your resume and application noticed:

  • Attention to detail, if a cover letter is requested, provide one! The cover letter should be one page and highlight your knowledge of the business, give emphasis to the skills outlined on your resume and show your enthusiasm about the role you are applying for.
  • Personalise your resume; employers understand you are applying for many jobs. Tailoring your resume for the job you’re applying for, will make you stand out! Consider information given in the application by the business and highlight how your skills can be transferred to what they’re asking for. For example, if they want somebody who is reliable, use an example of a time where you showed up on time for a job, sporting event, volunteering etc.
  • Expect a callback. A callback about your resume or application is your first interview, so make sure you’re in an appropriate place to take the call… if not, wait and call them back.
  • VOICEMAIL… make sure yours is appropriate. “Hi you’ve called, ***, please leave a message, and I will return your call as soon as possible.”
  • Be professional, no matter the job, showing that you can be professional is important.
  • Be proactive, follow up your application; this shows interest, initiative and motivation.

Where to go to view jobs on offer:

NextGen Jobs – Current vacancies

Check out McCarthy Plumbing Group here

Wyndham City Employment Pathways can be found here


Current Vacancies here

Guidance and advice on your application:

The Skills and Jobs Centre offer Resume reviews and Interview Skills workshops – check them out here.

Missed the session?

Don’t worry we recorded it… view here!

Thank you for reading, we hope that the information provided will assist you in taking that next step to trying a new career.

Industry Insights into Cleaning and Hygiene

Great money, great hours, great networking and get paid to be active!
Be proud to be a cleaner!

Today the Skills and Jobs Centre and Wyndham City joined forces to host an Insights panel with a focus on the Cleaning and Hygiene industry.

Our intention?
To maximize your knowledge around employment opportunities available in this industry, and highlight the importance of having a positive, can do attitude, strong work ethic and a genuine interest in cleaning to begin your career.

We were lucky enough to host industry experts Latchmi Jordan from ISS Cleaning and Denise Huxtable from Point of Difference Cleaning. Our panellists detailed their personal experience working in this sector, and shared advice on how you can enter this industry in a well-paying entry level position with zero skills needed, just a willingness to learn and a passion for customer satisfaction.

ISS Cleaning ISS is a Danish company which began all the way back in 1901 and has been in Australia since 2002. ISS offers a range of services and has 300 plus clients around Australia with over 17,000 employees working in a variety of areas from Schools, Tertiary Education, Hospitals, Airports, and Mining sites. ISS has a large variety of career opportunities in many fields and prides itself on developing talent from within.

You can check out their job opportunities here:  

Point of Difference is a Werribee based business, that originally started in Geelong before Denise purchased the business 20 years ago and has since built a well-known and strong employer brand in the Wyndham region. Point of Difference pride themselves on their values, they currently employ 28 staff with a projection to double this in the next 3 years. Employees at Point of Difference stay with the company on average for 4.5 years and they would be a great workplace to begin your career in cleaning.

Want to be a part of this, express your interest or apply here:

Latchmi has worked in the industry for almost 30 years.

Little to no cleaning skills? No worries!
Both companies are looking for people with the following attributes:
– Strong work ethic
– Compatible values to the business
– A passion for producing quality results
– Interest in the cleaning industry
– Willingness to learn new skills

What do you need to apply for a cleaning position?
Most domestic cleaning roles will require you to have a Drivers Licence to get from one client to another however, Latchmi advised that to work in commercial cleaning (buildings/offices/public venues) you wouldn’t be required to have a Drivers Licence as they are generally in areas with public transport.
You will be required to undertake a Police Check and have a valid Working with Children’s Check.

Both panellists outlined that training will be given to all new staff, including online training, equipment demonstrations and before you are sent off to work on your own you will be partnered with an experienced cleaner to learn the skills required to provide the quality service they promise customers. Further opportunity to learn new skills and continue to grow in the company are offered throughout each year!

Industry Insight session recording:  

Apply for roles now:
ISS Cleaning –
Point of Difference –  

Skills and Jobs Centre:
Make an appointment today to access FREE 1:1 career counselling, group workshops covering Resume Writing, Interview Skills, and Selection Criteria advice. Contact us to create an account and open the door to an array of quality job readiness resources.
Email: or phone 5225 0700

Thank you for joining us!

Industry Insight into Early Childhood Education

On Tuesday the 29th of September the Skills and Jobs Centre teamed up with Wyndham City Council to deliver an Industry Insights Panel into the Early Childhood Education and Care sector.

We were excited to be joined by Sonija Smit, Service Excellence Lead with Wyndham City, and Sharleen Lancaster, State Manager from Sparrow Early Learning in Wyndham, to talk about the childcare industry, job opportunities, and recruitment and career pathways available. The passion Sonija and Sharleen have for the industry was evident in the virtual Zoom room, and was embraced by all attendees. What an amazing session to be involved in!

If you are currently studying childcare or are considering enrolling in a course at the beginning of 2021, keep reading, as there is valuable information that will help you decide if this industry is for you. If you have already decided that you want a career in childcare, you’ll find out about job opportunities and read some tips from the experts about the recruitment process.

What does it take to begin a career in childcare? If you are a nurturing and passionate person and enjoy building lifelong relationships, having fun and occasionally being a bit silly, this industry could be for you. Sonija explains that every day she leaves work feeling as though she has accomplished something, such as teaching a child something new like a developmental skill. It’s an extremely enriching career and keeps her coming back, even through the more challenging times.

Sharleen explained that some people are born with a natural ability to look after children; however, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a quality you have already. If you are persistent and apply yourself, this will come over time

Both panelists confirmed today that during the pandemic there were no jobs losses at their centres, and with people in the Wyndham area slowly returning to work, they are getting busier and are needing to recruit more staff.

With extra funding recently announced for the 3yo kinder, recruitment will begin in early 2021 for around 6000 more Early Childhood Teachers. It will be a staged approach across the country and state for the next 2-3 years.
This is a growth industry, with many centres looking to hire those with Certificate III, Diploma and Bachelor Early Childhood Education level qualifications. Now seems like the time to seriously consider the childcare industry as a career option.


Below are the types of roles available across the industry that you might be interested in:

  • Childcare Assistants (Certificate III or Diploma Qualification)
  • Room Leaders (Diploma Qualification required)
  • Team leader or Service Manager – On the floor teaching and office work (Bachelor of Early Childhood Education)  
  • Kindergarten Teachers – 3 and 4yo (Bachelor of Early Childhood Education)
  • Office administrators
  • In-training early years educators (Diploma Qualification, working towards ECT)
  • Cooks/Chefs

And there’s other employment opportunities in the childcare industry, such as nannies, out-of-school-hours coordinators, Family Day Care assistants and more…  

What are they looking for when hiring?

  • Include your past work or volunteering history on your resume. Recruiters want to see that you have had experience working with other people, not necessarily only in the Early Childhood Education industry.
  • Your resume does not need to be long, 1-2 pages is enough.
  • Include a Cover Letter.
  • Give detailed answers in your Selection Criteria.
  • Try to align your selection criteria answers/and cover letter content with examples that reflect the vision and values of the organisation to which you are applying to.
  • Always be yourself in the interview! Its ok not to know everything about the job, ask questions and show you are willing to learn.
  • If English is your second language, that’s great, as centres embrace diversity and love being able to expose children to different cultures and languages. It’s so important now for our children to become global citizens and both Sonija and Sharleen expressed the importance of children hearing and learning different languages.

To view upcoming job opportunities with Wyndham City follow this link:

Or Sparrow Early learning here:

Career pathway resources:

Placement opportunities with Wyndham City:

Skills and Jobs Centre:

If you are currently completing your qualification in Early Childhood Education and need assistance preparing your resume, cover letter, selection criteria or getting ready for that all important interview, get in contact with the Skills and Jobs Centre to organise a free appointment for support from one of our qualified Careers Advisors, phone 5225 0700 or email us at

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.

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.



Leisure Networks

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.

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 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


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

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

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

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 (, 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

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 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

Insights into Higher Education Employer – July 2019

With employment prospects in the Geelong region in a state of change, what better time to hear from two large employers about what jobs looks like in the growing education sector.

Deakin University has a strong presence in the Geelong region with a campus at the Geelong Waterfront and at Waurn Ponds. Deakin is ranked in the top 1% of universities globally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018. This rating indicates world-class facilities, research and teaching, as well as employability, innovation and inclusiveness. Deakin also prides itself on student satisfaction and is a leader in graduate satisfaction

The Gordon is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been skilling people in the Geelong region for over 130 years. With two campuses in Geelong and three smaller campuses in Wyndham, The Gordon is experiencing a period of growth, which is also supported by the Free TAFE program being offered by the State Government.

Think jobs at Deakin and The Gordon are just for teachers? Think again! Today we were joined by Christine Shaw (Talent Acquisition, Deakin) and Aida Kapetanovic (HR Generalist, The Gordon) to learn more about the recruitment process at both organisations and boy, they couldn’t be any different!

Deakin’s recruitment process has recently become a centralised approach with 20 Talent Acquisition staff responsible for sourcing candidates. When a job becomes available, the Talent Acquisition team meet with the Hiring Manager and go through the position, identify the skills required and commence the recruitment process. Aside from academic roles, listed below are the seven key support areas that Deakin recruit for.

  1. Student Experience and Support – enhancing the student experience throughout their lifecycle
  2. Campus Services – maintaining the world class grounds particularly at Waurn Ponds
  3. Human Resources – 120 staff involved in recruitment and staff life cycle
  4. Lab Tech – supporting teaching delivery across the education Faculties
  5. Faculty Admin – organising travel, providing admin and finance support to the Faculty team
  6. Hospitality – Waurn Ponds estate hosting conferences, providing accommodation and cafe
  7. Library – assisting with online study and resource development

The Gordon’s recruitment process also follows a similar style with recruitment handled by a HR representative in conjunction with a representative from the program area. Jobs at The Gordon are divided into Teaching and Non-Teaching roles.

  1. Teaching roles – need to have a vocational qualification (“your trade”) and a TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. There is a particular need at the moment for Community Services, Carpentry, Electro Technology, Plumbing and Automotive teachers
  2. Student support – includes administration roles across a variety of professional functions including Finance, Executive, Student and Industry Engagement and Facilities.

With administration roles often attracting between 150-200 applicants, here’s what you need to know to make your application stand out.

 Make sure your resume is SCHMICK!

  • Keep it to two pages
  • Include a brief profile which is your elevator pitch and highlights how your skills align with the role
  • List your most recent position first
  • Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Use dot points to make your resume easy to read
  • Keep the content current, anything over 15 years old is not relevant
  • Don’t include a photo
  • Consider inserting a hyperlink to your LinkedIn account
  • You don’t need to list referees and their contact details

How to ace the interview!

  • Tell a great story. Have a generic opening line which address the question and then provide a specific example.
  • It’s okay to repeat the same example at interview that was used in your application, preface it with “I already gave my best example…”
  • Be authentic and be specific with your examples. Write down dot points to prompt you.
  • Have questions in mind to ask at the end of the interview
    • What would be the focus for the first three months?
    • Tell me about the team I’ll be working with…
    • I saw that Deakin/The Gordon recently did this…
  • Don’t forget that you got an interview because you can do the job, now you need to convince the panel you are the right person for their team

Both organisations encouraged potential applicants not to wait for a full-time position to be advertised. Both organisations have a lot of internal movement within roles, so if you see want to work for either Deakin or The Gordon be prepared to apply for casual or contract positions. Our sincere thanks to both Aida and Christine for their insights and tips

Deakin The Gordon
Require a one page Cover Letter  Do not require a Cover Letter
Do not require Key Selection Criteria  Must address Key Selection Criteria
Applications don’t have a closing date. Resumes are reviewed as soon as they are received Applications will not be reviewed before the closing date
Desirable candidates will undergo a preliminary telephone screening interview
A secondary interview will most likely be an informal coffee catch-up

Need help with your Key Selection Criteria? Come along to the Key Selection Criteria Workshops held monthly on or book a 30 minute appointment to review your Key Selection Criteria

Need help building your LinkedIn profile? Come along to the Creating a LinkedIn profile held each month.

Please visit  Skills and Jobs Centre to book your place at our range of  monthly workshops




Insights into the Aged Care and Community Health Sector – 23 July 2019

The Skills & Jobs Centre hosted the employer panel and were fortunate to have four experienced professionals talk about the types of opportunities available for new graduates looking for roles after completing two qualifications including Certificate III in Individual Support and Diploma of Nursing.  The panel discussed what they are looking for in potential graduates, relevant information about the application process for their workplaces, possible opportunities within their workplaces, and specific tips and tricks for job seeking and interviewing.

The panel provided valuable information, and our four presenters were very generous with their time, sharing their unique insights into this growing sector.

Panel members:

Mercy Health – Jonelle Mais (Recruitment Adviser) and Melinda Stasiuk (Clinical Placement Coordinator/Clinical Nurse Educator)

Absolute Care & Health – Jo Rajan (HR Administrator)

Manor Court Werribee Aged Care – Frances Fraser (Director of Nursing)

Mercy Health (Werribee Mercy Hospital)


Mercy Health is a values-based Catholic organisation, with services across Australia. In the Wyndham area, the Mercy Hospital provides comprehensive services, including surgical, maternity, emergency, mental health, aged, palliative and home-based care. The hospital is currently undergoing a large redevelopment in order to improve its critical care services.

How to apply

  • All vacancies are advertised, usually on Set up a Seek profile and job alerts
  • Research Mercy thoroughly and understand their values
  • Read the job ad carefully and don’t rush your application – there’s no advantage in being the first to apply
  • Selection criteria – Mercy isn’t strict about layout, but do incorporate in cover letter
  • Cover letter – an opportunity to make yourself stand out, by highlighting relevant skills/qualities/experiences. Tailor letter to the organisation and address it to person listed in job ad.
  • CV/resume – approx. 2 pages, and up to date. If young and lacking work experience, focus on behavioural qualities (ie ‘soft skills’). No special requirements for format, but make sure most relevant info is highlighted and sequenced on first page (e.g. placements).
  • Professional email address
  • Volunteering is relevant, but not Hobbies.


  • Be on time (but not too early!).
  • Preparation and research is crucial. This will help you think on your feet, as question wording varies
  • Mercy questions go deeper than standard ‘strength and weakness’ questions – prepare a list of scenarios to use for ‘tell us about a time when’ questions, including from placement. Use STAR and be specific about situation and outcome
  • An interview is also an opportunity to see if job is right for you!

Absolute Care & Health


The organisation was started in 2011 and provides in-home care to residents in metropolitan Melbourne and areas of regional Victoria. Clients include people with home care packages funded by government, as well as clients of schemes with NDIS, TAC and Worksafe.

The advantage of working as a caregiver is being able to develop long-term 1:1 relationships with clients. Caregivers need to be flexible and prepared to travel. The organisation is also flexible and offers family-friendly shifts and a full induction program for new staff.

How to apply

Currently its staff consists of 350 personal care assistants and 20 nurses, but Absolute Care expects to double these numbers by the end of the year so is actively recruiting now. Vacancies are advertised on and the organisation’s website at

  • Applying is competitive, i.e. 50-60 applicants, so recruiters won’t spend much time on each resume
  • Relevant skills may include manual handling, other languages, Working with Children and Police checks, driver’s license, first aid
  • ‘Career snapshot’ intro section can be useful
  • Cover letter needs to convey who you are as a person, i.e. your personality, soft skills – matching the job values


  • Manor uses phone screening as next step after reading resume. If phone call comes at a bad time politely make a time that better suits you
  • Allow plenty of time to get to interviews. If running late, show your communication skills and call to let them know
  • Dress appropriately. Bring your documents with you.
  • Interviews are not a cross-examination – try to be the best, authentic version of yourself.

 Manor Court Aged Care


Manor Court is a stand-alone, not-for-profit organisation, run by a board with representatives from Mercy Hospital and the community. Frances’s career path started as a registered nurse in emergency, followed by midwifery and community nursing, then aged care. At Manor Court there are various job titles, but the team has shared organisational values and outcomes. Having a caring quality is the main prerequisite for a job in this field.

How to apply

  • Manor Court advertises on Seek for specific vacancies and also has rolling recruitment
  • Don’t include age or marital status on resume. List last 3 employment positions only
  • Less interested in personal qualities, though volunteering is relevant
  • Include short cover letter, addressed appropriately, spell-checked, with cultural differences adjusted to Australian context
  • Have resume ready for placement to leave with the organisation at the end – when staff still remember you!


  • Be familiar with Aged Care Standards

 Responses to audience questions:

  • Life experience can be relevant, e.g. care of elderly relatives (but not ‘travel to Bali’!)
  • Mercy and Manor both offer volunteer opportunities. Mercy only offers behind the scenes roles, not clinical. Manor’s opportunities are coordinated through Matchworks.
  • For referees (references) use placement coordinators, Gordon teachers – not friends or family members. Preferably someone in senior role. Always ask permission first.
  • If you don’t have PR, then you need to demonstrate that you have Australian work rights and show your long-term plan.