By Jason Foster - General Manager, Apprenticeships and New Business

Being made redundant can be a tough time for anyone, and it can leave you at a loss as to what to do next. It can be particularly harder for older people and those who have been made redundant because their industry or occupation is in decline. When you have enjoyed a long career in the same industry, and even sometimes the same employer, finding yourself on the end of a redundancy can feel devastating.

Unfortunately, with our workplaces changing so rapidly, redundancies are becoming more common. A global report found that Australia has a fairly high redundancy rate compared with other developed nations, but the good news is that the same report also found that 70 per cent of those made redundant found new employment in a relatively short period of time. 

At VERTO, we see people who have been made redundant regularly, and work with them to provide access to the right training and support to get them back into the workforce. And when it comes to returning to the workforce, there are a number of options that can be explored, from building new skills to retraining for a new career. 

Building transferable skills  

For many, the key to finding their next role is simply about building the skills that people need to succeed in all types of workplaces and roles. For many older Australians, this can centre around digital skills and technology such as building confidence in using devices like tablets and smartphones, or platforms like social media. 

Gaining qualifications in existing occupation or industry

For some, the best course of action is to gain formal qualifications in the industry they already work in. With the rapid pace of technology, jobs and industries are changing quickly, and more and more employers like to see up-to-date qualifications. Being competency-based, a VET qualification is a great way to show a prospective employer that you have the practical skills to do the job. 

Exploring a whole new career path 

With skills shortages in many occupations and industries, we are seeing a growth in mature-age apprentices. While this can mean adjusting to a reduced pay packet during training, for many it has led to a long-term, rewarding career in a new space. In some areas, such as Commercial Cookery, the demand for workers far outstrips supply, so in these industries there are many job opportunities and retraining can be a good option. 

In recent years, the Australian Government has funded a number of programs that are designed to support people who have lost their jobs to find their feet. VERTO delivers a number of these programs across Australia, and one that is well-suited to many people who have been made redundant is the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers program. 

The Skills Checkpoint program is designed for Australians who are aged forty-five to 70 and have recently become unemployed or are at risk of doing so. One of the key benefits of the program, in my mind, is that it provides you with a personalised career assessment, which looks at your options and works with you to choose the best pathway. The program will also help you to determine what training you need to get there and access funding to complete it. 

Even if you are not eligible for Skills Checkpoint, VERTO offers a number of other programs and employment services that can help you explore your options and take the next step. 

Although redundancy can feel like an ending, it can also be the beginning of a new chapter. There are services and programs out there that can take some of the stress out of the situation, help you explore your options, and get you quickly on the path to your next job. Contact our team at VERTO to find out more about our programs and how we can help you.