Employment agencies have failed me: long-term unemployed man

Generic shot of a computer. Craig says he spends hours searching and applying for jobs each fortnight, but obtaining necessary certification would be a better use of his time. Picture: Andrew Writer
Generic shot of a computer. Craig says he spends hours searching and applying for jobs each fortnight, but obtaining necessary certification would be a better use of his time. Picture: Andrew Writer

Craig Armstrong, 47, from Basin View had never been unemployed until he moved to the Shoalhaven four years ago.

Since then, he has been looking for a job.

His first aid and traffic control tickets expired about a year ago, and he had hoped to renew them through his employment agency at the time, MBC.

However, he was told there was no funding available for that.

Craig, who worked for Penrith Council for nearly 20 years, as a labourer and truck driver, is fed up with system he believes has failed him.

“They're supposed to assist us in getting employment, they’re not doing anything helpful,” Craig said.

“I can’t afford to get these tickets myself.

“They tell me they have no funding, and then they are more than willing to pay for Work for the Dole clothing.”

A Nowra MBC representative told the South Coast Register they were unable to comment on Craig’s situation.

Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis said there was a fund available to employment agencies that would help Craig to attain the certifications he needed.

“I have been in contact with the Minister’s office who advised me that all jobactive providers have access to the Employment Fund which can be used to assist eligible individuals to build experience and skills to get and keep a job,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“The Employment Fund focuses on work-related items, training and support that meet the needs of individuals and employers.

“This may include costs associated with obtaining a first aid or traffic control certificate.”

Though this service is available, it is handed out at the discretion of the employment agency.

“Jobactive providers will consider if the assistance provides relevant skills, experience or support,” Mrs Sudmalis said.

“Jobactive providers also need to consider the needs of all clients and are required to ensure that the purchase represents value for money.

“As such, some individuals may not receive assistance, or be fully funded for the assistance they are seeking.”

Mrs Sudmalis encouraged Craig to contact his employment agency or the Department of Jobs and Small Business National Customer Service line, and if he did not reach a positive outcome, to contact her, and she would follow it up.