By Ron Maxwell - CEO
This year has thrown us curve balls no one could have predicted. From the devastation wrought by the bushfires to the immense health, employment and lifestyle challenges of COVID, we have all been impacted in some way.
VERTO has a long history of working with communities and vulnerable individuals, many of whom were disproportionately affected. The employment, disability, training, apprenticeship and tenancy support services we deliver have never been more vital, and today I wanted to share some of the ways the incredible VERTO team have – and will continue to – support the people who need us.
Reshaping our delivery models for a changed world
Like most businesses, VERTO made a sudden shift to remote working in March, and I am so grateful to our team for the way they stepped up.
Despite lockdown and constantly emerging challenges, the team continued to deliver great outcomes across employment, training, apprenticeship and tenancy services. We also used the time to reflect on our delivery models and reshape them to meet the changing needs of the people and communities we serve.
As we progress towards the end of JobKeeper, VERTO is in a strong position to help more Australians achieve their goals, and it’s something I’m incredibly proud of.
Helping more Australians upskill and reskill
VERTO was already making the shift towards online training before COVID, but circumstances rapidly accelerated the need for remote training services. Our team was able to respond, moving more and more of our qualifications and courses online, so that displaced workers and long-term unemployed alike can access vital services. And with almost 1 million people out of work and an estimated 3 million plus considering a career change as a result of COVID, training is going to play a bigger role than ever before.
If you are looking to develop qualifications to find employment or transition careers, I strongly encourage you to get in touch with our training services team to find out how we can help. With more government support on the table, many Australians will be able to access funding to help them on their journeys, so it may not even cost you a cent.
Increasing apprenticeship commencements to help with recovery
As we move into recovery mode, apprentices are going to play an incredibly important role in getting the economy back on track. I’ve been talking for some time about the value of apprenticeships, and it’s fantastic to see the government starting to recognise their importance.
With additional government funding for apprentices and employers, our Apprenticeships team are working hard to increase the number of commencements and help employers find the right apprentices.
This year, we launched CareerGate, a free, online portal that helps school leavers, unemployed people and those looking to transition careers to find the apprenticeship option that matches their skills and interests. If you are looking at your career options in the wake of COVID, I strongly encourage you to take a look at this portal to find options that might suit you and even start applying for vacancies in your area.
Delivering vital employment services for all Australians
With so many Australians facing employment challenges, our employment services have been more in-demand than ever before. I’ve talked before about the additional barriers COVID has raised for groups who already faced more challenges, and our team are working even harder to help some of our most vulnerable communities.
From mature-age workers to those with a disability, long-term unemployed, youth and Indigenous communities we have a proven track record of helping people back into work. And the team is delivering some great outcomes. Last month, I shared some of our good news stories, and these represent just a tiny fraction of the people we have helped into life-changing employment in 2020.
Whatever your circumstances, I strongly encourage you to reach out to the Employment Services team to explore your options. Our team offers the experience, connections and personalised support to help you prepare for and land your next role.
Playing a part to reduce homelessness
Our Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services (TAAS) has seen unprecedented demand this year, and the team have really stepped up to the challenge to play a part in reducing homelessness. We help vulnerable tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, communicate with their landlord, navigate tribunal hearings and, where possible, retain their rental properties.
If you are worried about your rental circumstances, get in touch to receive the vital information, advice and support that can help you reach the best possible outcome.
Looking to 2021 and beyond
While there has been some talk about the end of the recession, I have concerns that we are only just beginning to feel the full impact. With JobKeeper coming to an end on 31 March 2021 and no plans to extend, we may yet see many Australians facing difficult circumstances.