If you are a young worker you may have recently lost your job. More teenagers are now unemployed than ever before in Australia. One third of young people have lost their jobs and industries where the entry level jobs are (such as hospitality) have been hardest hit. To make things worse, young people’s work has become increasingly casual, making it harder to get some of the government support on offer.
It’s not your fault that you’re unemployed. Here are five things you can do if it’s happening to you…
1. Get looking
The first thing you should do is look for a temporary job. The Victorian Government is funding thousands of 3 to 6 month long jobs through councils and other community organisations. To see the jobs on offer you need to register with Sidekicker at Working for Victoria. You do not need to be registered as unemployed with Centrelink to apply for these jobs. Get on this one fast.
2. Get active
The second thing you can do is get involved in the Young Worker’s Centre’s (Victoria Trades Hall) campaign for to get more young Victorians employed in secure jobs post-COVID-19. Check out their website, join a zoom event or sign up to volunteer. You’ll meet other young workers in the same boat, and help strengthen the opportunities of our generation.
3. Get engaged
The third thing you can do is get engaged in activities in your community to keep connected, give you a sense of purpose, and build your CV. Pick an organisation you’d love to work for and offer to volunteer; join a sports club, community radio-station, or film club; volunteer to deliver meals to people who are isolated; or help with tree planting or scientific research as a “citizen scientist”. Find organisations by talking to adults you know, searching the internet and Facebook, or calling your local Volunteer Resource Centre.
4. Get educated
The fourth thing you can do is build your skills. Do you have a dream job? Develop the skills it will require. Or work on digital, creative or communication skills that are needed in a range of jobs. There are heaps of organisations that offer free courses including:
– TAFE with courses ranging from cyber-security to pre-apprenticeship plumbing (there is also information about training for specific jobs, free TAFE courses and online training on the Working for Victoria website above)
– edx.org with thousands of courses from universities like Harvard, University of Queensland and University of Tokyo.
– Khan Academy with a wide range of subjects from primary mathematics to coding, animation and story-telling.
5. Get your head in the right space
Finally, being unemployed can sometimes leave you feeling down, especially with other COVID-19 restrictions. Make sure you look after yourself and get help if needed. You can find mental health resources for young people at Headspace and Reachout. You can also get free online support and counselling at:
If you need information about food banks/vouchers, emergency housing, Centrelink, money, legal matters, family violence support, counselling or other issues, you can use the app/website AskIzzy. Type in your postcode to find services in your area. Telstra customers do not need valid credit to access the website.
You aren’t alone in this. There are resources around to help you.
Benjamin Pope lost his job in hospitality after COVID-19 and wrote this article after looking for work experience with a strategy writer to help fill in his time. Artworks are the author’s own.