The COVID-19 pandemic has provided unique challenges for everyone; lockdown, physical distancing, job security and working remotely. But for mature-aged jobseekers already doing it tough, the pandemic has been especially challenging.
One of the demographics hit hardest by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic is women aged over 40. According to a report by the Independent Parliamentary Budget Office, women over 40 are now more likely to be unemployed than young men in their 20s.
After dedicating 20 years to the industry, records and information management specialist Elizabeth Carss was unemployed and had been having difficulty reentering the workforce prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. Despite these hard times, she's still passionate about what she does and has turned to training to help her stay current and build a competitive edge to help her find new employment.
Elizabeth said she chose to look at TAFE Queensland’s micro-credentials as a way of enhancing her current skill set.
Like many Australians, COVID-19 changed everything for Elizabeth — particularly her approach to the job market.
“I would prefer to be working, but even volunteering is difficult. I would study more if I could afford it — so the free courses were fabulous," said Elizabeth.
“[There are] absolutely impossible job prospects as an older, female worker. My skill set is needed but I am competing against a multitude of people both in Queensland and interstate for the same positions."
“As part of an ageing population, getting a job after being unemployed for any time over a period of about a month, will lead to questions from prospective employers about what you have been doing. Showing that you are keeping up with technology and advancing your skills is important."
Undertaking a free TAFE Queensland micro-credential in Communication Technologies for Business Success has enabled Elizabeth to refresh and enhance her skills, giving her renewed confidence to enter the job market once again.
One of the ways TAFE Queensland responded to the health pandemic was to create a range of micro-credentials and skills sets aimed at not only enabling workers that were stood down during the pandemic to gain new skills, but also upskilling existing workers, allowing them to adapt to the changing demands of their industry.
If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19, or you’re looking to pick up new skills to be competitive, take a look at TAFE Queensland’s micro-credentials. Since responding to COVID-19, we’ve extended our micro-credential and skill set offering with both free and paid courses available.