Australia’s employment services sector is overwhelmed and overrun with people looking for work.
In the wake of COVID-19, the unemployment rate is skyrocketing towards 10% with up to 2.3 million Australians looking for work, leaving employment providers scrambling to find ways to connect and engage with job seekers.
With the pause on 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.
“We’re about to 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 are experiencing a 50% increase in demand for services, and that’s only going to get worse in the months to come.”
“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 helps people 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 helped tens of thousands of people across Australia, New Zealand, and the USA find and keep a job.
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
The Bounce Program 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 Bounce Program Online.
“We’ve been trialing the Bounce Program 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 the Bounce Program 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 the Bounce Program 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.”
“The Bounce Program 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 attractive to employers.” Mr Luttrell added.
Employment Providers that put their clients into The Bounce Program 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.