The continuous lockdowns are providing our clients and atWork Australia staff members with challenging times, uncertainty and restrict any face-to-face interactions.

To counteract this, the local teams in the Monash and Peninsula, VIC region, have created virtual Jobs Now group sessions held via Zoom every Thursday for a course duration of five weeks.

Regional Manager Nicole says: “I feel that our clients are lonely, can be isolated and face tough times during lockdowns. The virtual Jobs Now club we are running is a really important way for us to be helping our clients through challenging times, we get to see each other’s faces and it is keeping us all connected.“

Currently, each session welcomes 18-23 attendees. Clients who attend these sessions are often demotivated, have fallen out of employment or are interested in knowing more about the local job market.

The group sessions are presented in an interactive format, with clients contributing to an open discussion about their employment journey. Topics include information about the local job market, what to expect during the job application process, how to prepare for a job interview and what happens after securing employment.

The local teams have run eight sessions so far, with a total of 63 clients attending. More than 50% of clients have attended all five sessions over a five-week time frame and the success shows in the numbers. Since completing the virtual Jobs Now group sessions, 22 clients have found employment and five clients have been placed into education.

Nicole says: “I am delighted to see such a high success rate of our program and over the last three weeks, our attendance numbers skyrocketed to 18 clients.“

More than 95% of attendees were satisfied or very satisfied with the virtual Jobs Now program and two-third of attendees felt more confident in their job search after attending the group sessions.

“Thanks to Simone and Nicole for their time in getting these going. I have just started a job in Dandy South in an Admin and Accounts role”, says a happy client who attended the virtual Jobs Now program.

Another attendee adds: “I was really nervous to be a part of a job group session but in the end, I really enjoyed it and took so much from it. I haven’t had a job interview in over 20 years, so the interview part was what I found most beneficial. I am really grateful for the job group, thank you.”

A client who has successfully completed the five-week virtual Jobs Now group sessions is Monica from Frankston. Monica had no work experience and has been participating in interview role play and attending the virtual Job Now group sessions. She attended the group sessions until she felt job-ready, perfected her interview practice and gained confidence in securing a role. She was the first in her group to secure employment in her dream role as a Community Mental Health Relief Worker. What made Monica successful was that she implemented everything she learned from her virtual Jobs Now sessions. When Monica found out that she has secured a role she was beyond happy, smiling from ear to ear. Monica says: “I had a grin so wide that my face literally was sore from smiling.”