Utilising soft skills training to enhance work readiness

Utilising soft skills training to enhance work readiness

In February 2019, Bounce Australia was awarded a Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) contract to design and deliver a soft skills training program that would enhance the psychological work readiness of job seekers.

The successful trial outcomes have been released, revealing the benefits of equipping job seekers with valuable skills that build their confidence, resilience, motivation, satisfaction with life and career self-efficacy.

Working with trainers and employment providers in three states, the trial encouraged disadvantaged and disengaged jobseekers (Stream B & C in jobactive) to participate in a targeted training program delivered over a three-week period with a certified Bounce Trainer.

The trial results demonstrate the benefits of addressing the health and wellbeing of job seekers in the initial part of their journey into employment. Job seekers are more likely to feel optimistic and motivated to find work if they have a growth mindset and positive wellbeing.  

Why Wellbeing? 

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. 

The DESE report identifies: 

Job seekers with more complex barriers to employment (and further education) will often require a significant change in personal circumstances and a conducive external economic environment to find work. 

Time spent unsuccessfully looking for work can also erode individuals’ confidence and reduce their motivation to search for work, compounding the existing barriers to employment. Long-term joblessness can therefore have scarring effects, resulting in a greater chance of future periods of unemployment, lower lifetime earnings and poorer physical and mental health.    

When a person is employed, regardless of the type (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual or volunteer), it leads to a further increase in overall wellbeing and satisfaction with life. However, for people considered long-term unemployed, their health and wellbeing are significantly impacted the longer they are unemployed. (AtWork Australia, 2021).

Several important behavioural skills or ‘soft skills’ have been identified as barriers to securing employment. If job seekers are not equipped with these skills, they may find it challenging to secure a job and keep it.  

These skills include:

  • Behavioural attitude
  • Resilience & coping skills
  • Self-efficacy
  • Motivation
  • Confidence
  • Health awareness

The skills job seekers really need

More traditional forms of soft skills include communication, teamwork, time management and problem-solving, which are important once a person is employed. But before a person can achieve the goal of meaningful and sustainable employment, they need to be psychologically prepared to work.   

Most recently, soft skills development has been expanded to include psychological work-readiness indicators related directly to wellbeing, such as a positive attitude and growth mindset, self-esteem, confidence, resilience, and satisfaction with life. 

When applied in the training context, these indicators may improve job search effectiveness and, therefore, the likelihood of employment for long-term unemployed people.

The trial results showed that the Bounce Program improves the psychological work-readiness of job seekers, with the most significant gains in confidence, resilience and satisfaction with life

Results Snapshot

The trial focused on assessing the psychological work readiness of job seekers, including the following key assessment areas:

  • Self-esteem
  • Resilience
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Career Self-efficacy

The DESE Report presented the following findings:

Overall, the trial was successful at increasing Stream and C job seekers’ self-esteem, resilience and life satisfaction. While career self-efficacy was also measured, no effect was detected.

Results suggest that training that considers the breadth of soft skills (including psychological work readiness) can help disadvantaged job seekers with complex barriers build the confidence, resilience and motivation to become more job-ready.

Previous research with job seekers identified that improving aspects of psychological work readiness (including self-esteem and resilience) is linked with motivation to apply for jobs, talking to employers, and increased confidence at job interviews. This suggests this form of training, particularly when complemented with other relevant assistance, may help disadvantaged job seekers find employment, and with it, increase their living standards and wellbeing.

Download the full report here.

What do our results show? 

Results gathered internally from the Bounce Program, back up these findings from the DESE Trial. Bounce gathers a wide range of data from participants as they move through the program, with the results indicating a significant shift in how people feel about their journey into employment. 

Here’s what our results have indicated:  

Book a Demonstration Today

Contact us to book a demonstration of The Bounce Program and we can step you through how the program will give you the edge when it comes to servicing clients in the Workforce Australia contract.


Weekly Coaching Session Success

Weekly Coaching Session Success

Bounce Online is having an incredible impact – and weekly coaching sessions are the secret to it’s success!  

How many online training programs include a genuine human element? Not many we wager, but Bounce Online does – and it’s making all the difference when it comes to engagement, completion rates and moments of real change!  

When participants are first given access to the program, they are invited to join weekly coaching sessions with our Bounce Coaches. These sessions are an opportunity for participants to unpack their learnings from the program and find ways to overcome some of the hard things they might come up against as they move through the course.   

The structured sessions we ran during September had an incredible participation rate of 76%, and the feedback we received tells us it’s making all the difference. 

Here’s what JobLife participant Justine said about her experience with our coaches, Chris and Linda: 

“I have not seen another program that is so positive as this one and makes you feel cared about and valued as I have by Chris and Linda. I hope more people partake in doing this program to help better themselves and begin to believe in their abilities.” 

If you’re not using Bounce Online, now is a great time to talk with Tom or Kelly about how to start using it with your clients.  

New partnership with genU Training

genU Training has partnered up with us to create an exciting new qualification for people working in employment services.

Their new custom-built CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services is designed for anyone working in employment services and focuses on building coaching knowledge and skills so consultants can confidently support their clients.

The qualification includes our Bounce Job Coach (Foundation) course, and upon completion, participants are awarded their Job Coach micro-credential or digital badge.

genU Training General Manager Lisa Abbott is excited to have our digital badge in their new qualification. Here’s what Lisa had to say about working with Bounce:

“genU Training partnered with Bounce to be able to provide our learners with a holistic environment to enhance their soft skills through the Job Coach Certification whilst building their professional practice through the innovative, co-designed Certificate IV in Community Services for the Employment Services industry.  

We hope together we can support the Employment Services industry in preparing Employment Services professionals to progress more jobseekers back into meaningful employment.”   


Job Coach Certification – New Year Special! 

Here’s a New Years resolution for you… 

“In 2022, I will become a certified Bounce Job Coach and use my new coaching skills to help my clients get better outcomes!” 

Our first open Job Coach Certification course kicks off on February 2nd 2022. So if you want to develop all the skills you need to become an outstanding Job Coach, here’s your chance.

Individual seats or small group seats are available, but they are limited, so book in early.

Bounce Job Coach Certification also features a digital badge (or micro-credential). Find out more about the benefits of Bounce digital badges here.

Enhanced Services Training Solutions with Bounce

Enhanced Services Training Solutions with Bounce

The New Employment Services Model is on target to be fully operational by June 2022. 

The new contract will certainly shake up the way employment services are delivered across Australia. Providers need to start planning now for how they will approach the Enhanced Services component of the contract.   

According to DESE – the objectives of Enhanced Services are to:  

  • Drive high-quality services and outcomes for job seekers and employers  
  • Deliver personalised support to job seekers  
  • Increase investment in disadvantaged job seekers, to reduce their risk of becoming long-term or very long-term unemployed  
  • Deliver simple, efficient, trusted and connected recruitment services that employers actively use, to fill vacancies and match the most appropriate job seeker for the role 

In the new contract, providers will be expected to deliver tailored and intensive servicing of job seekers, with a strong focus on providing suitable and effective training.  

The specific requirements of the Exposure Draft include (4.1.8):  

Assist job seekers to improve foundation and employability skills such as the ability to work in a team, communication skills, digital skills, motivation and reliability. 

This is where Bounce comes in… 

Overcome the vocational & non-vocational barriers to employment 

The Bounce Program is a targeted employment preparation program that will help job seekers to: 

  • Build confidence and resilience  
  • Boost self-esteem and self-awareness 
  • Improve communication and emotional intelligence skills 
  • Feel more motivated and prepared to find a job 
  • Create a stand-out resume and successfully handle interviews.  
  • Increase their digital literacy and online learning skills (Online Program) 

The Bounce Program will help clients achieve their monthly Points Target as part of the Points Based Activation System (PBAS), by including the program in their Job Plan. 

Providers are able to purchase a license to deliver The Bounce Program and it can be delivered as a face-to-face program in a training room (and we train your trainers) or online via our fully customised digital learning platform. 

The Bounce Program features the most effective strategies for influencing behaviour change, based on the latest human and social science. Our scientifically backed Bounce Methodology is the secret to our success.

Face-to-face is a highly-effective way to deliver soft skills training. The Bounce Program is lead by certified Bounce Trainers trained to execute our Methodology skilfully and effectively. The program is typically delivered over 14 days.   

 Bounce can be easily and conveniently delivered online when face-to-face isn’t possible or suitable.  

Online training can be challenging. However, our program has been expertly designed to keep users engaged and motivated to complete the course. In fact, the completion rate for Bounce Online is an incredible 60% for commenced users, which is well above the average of between 15-40%. In addition, its clever gamification features and influential nudging techniques have proved to be highly successful in keeping participants moving through the course.  

It also features weekly live coaching sessions delivered via Zoom, so your clients can join in from wherever they are located. Our experienced, certified Bounce Coaches run the coaching sessions, and they are the secret to getting incredible breakthroughs and significant behaviour change.  

We make over 75 calls each week to support your clients and host an average of 12 coaching sessions a week. There aren’t many online learning programs that offer such a high level of guidance and support.  

Overcoming the 
barriers to staff professional development


Qualifications specific to the role are scarce, and those that do exist are ineffective when it comes to influencing real and lasting behaviour change.  

Frontline workers in employment services need a new set of skills – they need specific, tailored and targeted skills that will help them shift their clients from disengaged and disadvantaged, to empowered and employed.   

They need coaching skills. 

Bounce Job Coach Certification will give frontline workers a coaching certification that will not only help them in their world of work, but the skills are incredibly transferable and can be applied in every aspect of life.  

The benefits of coaching are many; 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication skills. And for organisations that invest in coaching professional development – 86% of companies have reported that they recouped their investment in coaching and more (source: ICF 2009). 

Becoming a Job Coach means frontline workers are equipped to manage the challenges of working with disengaged job seekers, and have the skills to initiate better employment outcomes.


A powerful combination

When combined, the Bounce Program and Bounce Job Coach Certification are the solution to better employment outcomes. The two programs compliment each other perfectly, and the content cohesively connects so that both coach and client are using the same language to communicate, problem-solve and set goals.  

Organisations that opt to include The Bounce Program and Bounce Job Coach Certification in their RFP, will be showing a strong commitment to providing high-quality enhanced service delivery.  

With the mounting evidence that supports the benefits of soft skills development in employment services to increase employment outcomes, Bounce is the solution you need to ensure that you’re consistently meeting the high-performance requirements of the Provider Performance Framework.  

Contact us to discuss how you can incorporate Bounce training into your RFP and position yourself as a leading employment provider.  

Book a Demonstration Today

Contact us to book a demonstration of The Bounce Program and the Bounce Job Coach Certification Course and we can step you through how both programs will give you the edge when it comes to the NESM and Enhanced Services.


Soft skills for job seekers – The Bounce Online Approach

Soft skills for job seekers – The Bounce Online Approach

The results are in…! Bounce Online is proving to be a real game-changer when it comes to job-readiness and soft skills training for job seekers. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the way we deliver job-readiness and soft skills training has changed dramatically. With limited options to deliver face-to-face training, our online version of the Bounce Program has adapted and grown to become one of the leading online learning programs for job seekers. 

Our approach to giving job seekers the best job-readiness training and employability skills is unlike anything else. Our soft skills program has been tried and tested for 15 years and now the online program is taking the employment training sector by storm.  

The latest version of the program as been operating since November 2020 and the feedback and results are really quite incredible and clearly demonstrate the value and importance of soft skills for people who are looking for work. 

Here are some of the highlights… 

Bounce Online has raised the bar when it comes to completion rates for online training programs and courses. But our program isn’t just a set-and-forget online course – there’s the weekly coaching sessions with Bounce Coaches and regular contact with our engagement team that mean that participants are supported from beginning to end.  

We know that the time it takes to complete online courses can vary considerably, especially when it comes to job-readiness and vocational training. One of the key features of Bounce Online are the gamification and reward elements which have been designed to give participants encouragement and recognition for their efforts as they move through the program. On average, it takes just three weeks for participants to go from disengaged and stuck, to excited and motivated to take the next step forward in their employment journey.  

Our feedback forms consistently demonstrate how effective Bounce is when it comes to helping clients develop their soft skills and feel more confident in their strengths, abilities and personal qualities. 

The feedback from clients demonstrates how much the enjoy the program. We get plenty of feedback from people that have limited computers skills that tell us how easy the platform is to navigate and with our incredible tech support it makes it super simple for people to use. It really is the most surprising, inspiring, fun employment training you can do!

Unlike other self-paced online learning programs, Bounce Online has a genuine human-touch. We know how important it is for people to feel supported on their learning journey and this is why we have incorporated coaching and tech support at every stage of the program. From when a client is first entered into the system to when they finish the course (and beyond), there is a Bounce team member in their corner, cheering them on! 

This right here is where the magic happens. We know that coaching, training and mentoring in soft skills works best when there is a person there to help you explore the learning and dive deep into the content and concepts. And this is exactly what our Bounce Coaches are there to do. Our weekly coaching sessions have consistently demonstrated how valuable they are for the participants and they are the difference when it comes to getting outstanding employment outcomes. 

Need more proof? Listen to AtWork client, Malcolm talk with Chris about his experience with the program.


For more information about the Bounce Program and how you can get your clients involved click the link below or contact us here

Bounce Job Coach Certification

Bounce Job Coach Certification

The must-have certificate for anyone working in employment services. 

Bounce Australia is excited to announce the release of its brand-new training course Bounce Job Coach Certification. The certified course has been developed for anyone that works with and supports people to find meaningful & sustainable employment. 

Job Coach Certification demonstrates how powerful soft skills and coaching skills are when it comes to working with disengaged and long-term unemployed clients. 

Find out more about Bounce Job Coach Certification or download the brochure here. Talk to us today about how you can bring Bounce Job Coach Certification training to your team today – contact us

The Bounce Program: The key to finding work after COVID

The Bounce Program: The key to finding work after COVID

Australia’s employment services sector is overwhelmed and overrun with people looking for work.

In the wake of COVID-19, Australia’s unemployment and underemployment rates have skyrocketed, leaving employment providers scrambling to find ways to connect and engage with job seekers.

With the adjustments to mutual obligation requirements and some consultant caseloads reaching over five hundred people, job seekers are experiencing frustration in their quest to find work in an environment where opportunities are scarce.

“Over the coming months we could experience a wave of unemployment like we haven’t seen since the great depression. The impact of this is hard to comprehend in 2020,” said Maria Smith, Founder and CEO of people-training company Bounce Australia.

“Some employment providers have already experienced a 50% increase in demand for services, and that’s only going to get worse next year when JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments cease.”

“We know if a person is unable to find work within 12 months of becoming unemployed, they are more likely to experience long-term unemployment and this can lead to serious mental health impacts like anxiety and depression.”

“With unemployment rates forecast to remain high until at least 2024, it’s critical we re-think the way we help people find work. The old system of meeting regularly with your employment consultant and doing face-to-face training isn’t going to get Australian’s working again. We need to challenge the status quo and do things differently.” Ms Smith explained.

Bounce Australia has developed The Bounce Program – a unique wrap-around approach to workforce activation that gives people the skills they need and confidence to find employment faster and more effectively than any other work-readiness training available.

The Bounce Program is an evidence-based transformational soft skills program that has impacted the lives tens of thousands of people across Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. 

 As a small business located in Maryborough, in central Victoria that delivers its programs both nationally and internationally, Bounce has been heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“Since 2006, we’ve been delivering job seeker programs through face-to-face training, but this stopped when COVID-19 restrictions commenced back in April. We’ve had to pivot our business model radically to keep ourselves operational.” Ms Smith said.

“Job seekers need to stay engaged in their employment journey, and right now, the most effective way to give people the work-readiness training they need is online. With the cancellation of face-to-face training, we’ve created a revolutionary digital version of our program that is delivered through a fully-customised online platform.”


The Bounce Program Online: An access-anywhere soft skills training program that will revolutionise the way job seekers undertake work-readiness training. 

The Virtual Job Coach

Bounce Online is a ‘virtual job coach’, saving employment consultants and case managers hundreds of hours of contact and intel-gathering with their clients as they complete program from home instead of in a training room.

Job seekers work through learning modules designed to give them more confidence, develop their resilience and boost their employability skills.

At the completion of the program, case managers are provided with detailed reports that help them support their clients to achieve their employment goals.   

Bounce Australia’s National Business Manager Matthew Luttrell explains how job seekers have been actively engaging with their case managers and participating in training despite the COVID-19 restrictions through the new online learning platform.  

“We’ve been trialing Bounce Online with clients from MAX Solutions in New South Wales, and the results have been incredible.” Mr Luttrell said.

MAX Solutions Program Case Manager Chantel Cleminson is excited to have her clients from the Opportunity Pathways Program undertaking Bounce Online because it’s the perfect way to keep them connecting with her while they are looking for work.

“I put my clients into the Bounce Program because COVID-19 has had a real impact on them. Some lack confidence and others have a lack of clarity with regards to their career goals, and it’s hard for them to see a way forward.” Ms Cleminson said.  

“By participating in Bounce, they gain incredible insight into their strengths and capabilities. My clients are more confident, which is leading to better engagement.”

One of Ms Cleminsons’ clients Jenny, participated in Bounce Online and said that it has helped her see her life entirely differently.

 “Before the program, I was very negative about everything related to employment,” Jenny explained.

“I found job searching hard because of my low confidence, motivation and energy. I would see people going to work, and I wish I had a job to go to like everyone else.”

“Bounce Online helped me to assess and understand my abilities in the career world, and I’ve developed more confidence, new skills and new technical abilities. I’m ready to find my dream career now.” Jenny said.

Preparing skills for human future

With huge numbers of the current workforce suddenly facing the need to re-train and up-skill, soft skills – the most transferable skills for any employee to have, are in high demand.

“We know that people who have a range of soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, communication skills, resilience, creativity and problem-solving skills are valuable employees and during an employment crisis this, soft skills are critical.” Mr Luttrell said.

“Employees with these skills will be highly sort-after as the workforce starts to open up again. Any person that goes through the Bounce Program will have developed and expanded these skills, and it will make them very attractive to employers.” Mr Luttrell added.

Employment providers that put their clients into Bounce Online will see a dramatic shift in their behaviour, confidence and self-belief. During these uncertain times, this level of engagement is invaluable and will be a game-changer for the industry. 

Bounce Online - Book a demonstration with a member of the Bounce team today!

Let one of the Bounce team take you on a personally guided tour of the platform where you can watch the videos, view the quizzes, participate in the activities and see how the unique gamification elements work to keep clients engaged and motivated.