Try-out breaks Berkeley woman's job drought

Christina Grogan with new colleagues Angela Ludlow, Keetah Gallagher and Celeste Monaghan. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Christina Grogan with new colleagues Angela Ludlow, Keetah Gallagher and Celeste Monaghan. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

After three years of looking, Christina Grogan started a job the day after she graduated from a retail course.

Ms Grogan, 51, was one of 20 job seekers who took part in a retail course organised by Wollongong's Jobfind Centre.

Run by the Australian Retailers Association and funded by State Training, the course aimed to get people ready for the sorts of jobs about to become available at the new GPT development in Wollongong's CBD.

Ms Grogan, from Berkeley, said she had plenty of retail experience but felt her age was the reason employers wouldn't hire her.

What drew Ms Grogan to the course was the fact that it included two weeks of work experience.

"I was hoping because I thought if I could get the work experience that I would get the job because, once they saw how I work, I would get hired.

"That's how much confidence I had. I just needed someone to try me."

She was right - after a two-week stint at Fantastic Furniture at Warrawong, Ms Grogan was offered a part-time job.

She graduated from her retail course on Monday and started her job on Tuesday.

Now, after three years of looking for something more than casual work, Ms Grogan enjoys waking up in the morning.

"I'm excited, because I'm going to mix with people," she said.

"I'm not going to be sitting by myself all day."

Jobfind Centre area manager Sharyn Pearson said that was the sentiment of a lot of unemployed people.

"If you ask any jobseeker 'do you actually like sitting at home and watching TV all day?', not one person will say yes, they do."

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