Returning to work after a long period out of employment is a challenge many job seekers face.
For Narelle it was an employment gap of 15 years while raising children that became a barrier to finding a good job.
When Narelle, a proud Noongar woman, leading a family in Perth, Western Australia, decided she wanted to re-enter the workforce she was determined to succeed.
Although Narelle admitted she could be reserved and shy at times, she was willing to give anything a try and continue to build her self-confidence.
It was this positive and determined attitude that Narelle brought to the jobactive program (now known as Workforce Australia), with APM Employment Services.
Read a full transcript of this video.
"I knew I had to change, not only for me but for my kids"
Finding a better balance
As Narelle’s confidence grew with support from her APM employment consultant Austin, she joined the Matera Foundation’s 'Pathways to Employment' program.
Led by former AFL Premiership-winning West Coast Eagle Peter Matera, the program helps Aboriginal people increase their employment potential and transition from an entry level job to a career in their desired industry or field.
Testament to her resilience and dedication, Narelle studiously progressed well through the course work and was not afraid to speak out and ask for assistance when required.
And her hard work with the program resulted in gaining an operator role a role on a mine site.
Although the new job, which required flying to mine sites, proved challenging to maintain with her family commitments, Narelle was able to gain significant experience.
"I knew I had to change, not only for me, for my kids too," Narelle said.
Reaching out to Austin at APM, Narelle was soon referred to an opportunity closer to home at the Perth Mint, who were looking for people to join them in East Perth.
"We were going through a really busy time last year and I contacted Austin at APM," said Riaana, from the Perth Mint.
"He sent me quite a few resumes and Narelle’s stood out.”
"She’d previously worked on a mine site as an Operator …for me that showed a lot of focus and attention to detail.”
"Narelle's been fantastic - she learned the job really quickly"
A valued member of the team
Narelle’s role involves inspecting highly valuable gold, silver and platinum collectable coins for flaws and faults, polishing coins and organising the display of finished products throughout the building.
After starting as a casual, it didn’t take Narelle long to make a great impression.
“Narelle’s been fantastic, she learned the job really quickly” Riaana recalls.
“We were getting positive feedback pretty much straight away.”
Narelle is now a permanent employee at the Perth Mint, giving her secure, local work.
“She went from a casual role to a full-time role pretty quickly… it was very rewarding,” Austin said.
APM Employment Services CEO Karen Rainbow talks employers can strike gold with job seekers who are returning to work or starting in a new industry.
“A gap in your resume does not have to define the next step in your career – when you’re ready to take that next step, there are support services out there,” she said.
“Everyone has transferable skills or recognisable qualities which can set them apart, which job seekers bring with them to new roles.”
The benefits of a personal employment service and finding employment which is suited to someone’s circumstances – are not just limited to one person.
The benefits of inclusion are felt by loved ones, employers and the wider community.
Narelle is thriving in her role, and all the positive changes which have come with it.
“My family is so proud of me, my kids are proud of me, it’s good.”
There are jobs out there. We can help you find them.