By Natalie Jenkins - Targeted Services/SCP Manager, Apprenticeship Network Provider
There’s no denying that 2020 was one of, if not the toughest year many of us have faced and, unfortunately, many of those challenges will continue into 2021. With around one million Australian workers facing employment changes due to COVID-19, employment is a key challenge, and for those already facing additional barriers, such as mature-aged workers, it can feel like a tougher mountain to climb.
Interest in VERTO’s Skills Checkpoint program has tripled as we kick off 2021, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fantastic government initiative for people 45 or over who have been made redundant or may be at risk of redundancy, something that is critical right now.
How Skills Checkpoint works
Skills Checkpoint is available to those who are not currently receiving benefits from Centrelink and are 45 years or older. If you are eligible, you will work with a provider, such as VERTO, to create an Individual job plan. This is a completely tailored, supportive and well thought out plan to help you upskill if your current job is at risk or get back into work by reskilling you in another industry if you have lost employment. The Federal Government will also provide up to $2,200 (Inc. GST) to support training or reskilling outlined in the plan.
One of the best parts of the program is that VERTO can do all the applications and help you access funding, so that you can simply focus your time and energy where it is most needed – getting back into employment. You can find out more about eligibility and the program here.
We start by empowering you
For anyone at any time, losing employment or being at risk of losing employment can feel like a blow, but it can feel worse during today’s challenging job market. This feeling can be heightened for mature-aged workers, who can already feel like they may not be considered a front-runner for vacancies due to their age.
One of the things my team at VERTO do as part of the Skills Checkpoint program is help people find that all-important motivation and rebuild their confidence. We start by listening to your dreams, passions and your circumstances to work out the best plan of attack because everyone is on their own journey; there are no one-size-fits-all approaches at VERTO.
Find a new passion – or follow an existing one
One of the great things about working on this program is that we assist people to find or follow their passions. There is such a wide variety of career options available today that may not have been an option when a client entered the workforce.
The team enthusiastically support VERTO clients to not only identify their career desires, but to find and apply for the right courses or qualifications to start on a new path. We action it all; do all the paperwork and give people the tools, confidence, and headspace to focus on their careers and find what’s next.
You have local experts in your corner
Something else we love about the Skills Checkpoint program is that we work within our own communities – helping local people find work with local employers; it’s incredibly rewarding. Working this way, our team have built connections in the community and this really benefits our clients because they understand the local employment market, its challenges and its opportunities.
We work with our clients one-on-one and seeing them succeed is a fantastic part of the job and one we love. Even when we can’t see our clients face-to-face due to COVID-19 restrictions, our team will always be there, providing remote support via video and phone meetings.
Employers can get involved too
During COVID-19, we saw an increase in the number of employers getting involved to roll out the program to at-risk employees. In the last year, we’ve administered the program for national travel agencies, airlines and transport companies, to name a few. We’ve helped many people transition to new careers as COVID-19 changed their industries, such as pilots reskilling as bus drivers.
Even before COVID-19, VERTO had a track record of working with impacted industries, such as the automotive industry as local manufacturing shut down. If you are a leader in a business that is facing significant change, it’s worth getting in touch with the experts at VERTO to explore your options. Skills Checkpoint may be an excellent opportunity to support the people who gave so much to your organisation over the years.
Help is out there no matter your circumstances