Delivering enhanced services as part of the new Workforce Australia initiative will involve getting to know your clients on a deeper level and engaging with them on their journey to work through a wellbeing-based approach.
The new Points Based Active System (PBAS) is a framework that job seekers need to engage with, and participation in activities is critical to meeting the mutual obligation requirements. PBAS provides clients utilising Workforce Australia services, with greater ownership of their pathway to employment and promotes personal responsibility.
According to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the PBAS will:
Focus on engagement and positive activation, specifically what job seekers are engaging in or what they need to do to gain employment.
Encourage job seekers to connect to learning and training opportunities to build their skills and access support services to overcome employment barriers.
Shift how providers will engage with job seekers.
Utilise a Job Plan to maintain job seeker engagements and activation.
Better servicing through Workforce Australia
Clients serviced through Workforce Australia require a higher level of support to assist them in finding meaningful and sustainable work. Research has shown that for job seekers to succeed in finding and keeping work, employment preparation and training interventions must incorporate more than practical job search skills – they must support psychological wellbeing and include resilience, self-efficacy, and confidence.
Through Workforce Australia, clients will be able to access a wide range of training and work readiness activities to meet the points targets required in their Job Plan. But before clients can go into further training or employment, you need to build trust and connection with them.
So what do providers need to do to engage clients in Workforce Australia successfully? The following strategies are critical for positive engagement:
1. Identify their values – what’s important to them
Before your clients start applying for random jobs, think about why this might not lead to a sustainable placement. If you have a client who values flexibility to help them manage their family requirements, a job with set hours or in-flexible working locations may not be a good fit. When you know your client’s highest values, you can help them tailor their job search by matching the suitability of the job to these values.
2. Overcome the barriers
Many clients that are considered long-term unemployed have varied and often complex barriers that limit their ability to successfully find work. Identifying these barriers isn’t always an easy task, but by utilising coaching skills, asking great questions and listening with intent, you can start to gather information about the challenges your clients face. Helping your clients to ‘flip’ their beliefs from a negative frame – e.g. “There aren’t any jobs” to a positive re-frame, e.g. “I just haven’t found the right job for me yet” can keep them feeling optimistic and motivated on their journey.
3. Uncover their strengths and personal qualities
Can your clients easily identify their strengths and highlight their individual qualities? This is a key skill for job seekers to develop, and knowing when to put their strengths to work during interviews and in written applications is key.
4. Get clear on the goals
Often people set goals with their clients from the very beginning, but a goal that doesn’t meet the clients’ values or utilises their strengths won’t necessarily result in a positive employment outcome. Once you’ve explored the first three steps, you can now set goals that align with your client’s vision for themselves.
5. Move forward with confidence
Giving your clients the tools to take the next steps in applying for jobs is essential. They need to feel confident with the resume and application letter, and they most definitely need to know what to expect when it comes to interviews. The previous four steps have allowed your clients to develop their confidence and self-esteem, which is a critical part of the journey to employment. When job seekers feel more knowledgeable and empowered, they are more likely to feel job-ready.
The Bounce Program
The Bounce Program is a work-readiness training program designed specifically for Workforce Australia clients that need tailored and targeted employability skills training. When clients participate in the program, they discover all these things and more about themselves, and as their employment provider, you can get access to a lot of great information about them too.
The Bounce Program has been proven to increase the psychological work readiness of job seekers, helping them to build confidence, resilience, self-esteem and the motivation they need to find meaningful and sustainable employment.
If you’re not using the Bounce Program, you’re missing out on an opportunity to discover valuable information about them and find solutions to the barriers and blocks that may be holding them back.
Want to know more about the Bounce Program?