When Jobs Victoria Advocates Barbara Mangles and Sharon D’Cruz began working with Uniting Vic.Tas in Shepparton, they could never have imagined just how far and wide across regional Victoria they would get to spread their skills and reach. Joining forces with GOTAFE’s Mobile Campus, they will visit 40 destinations to have an even greater impact on local communities, matching jobseekers with new career opportunities.
Being a Jobs Victoria Advocate is all about forming close working relationships with individuals, community service providers, potential employers, referral services and the education sector. Advocates Barbara Mangles and Sharon D’Cruz have been establishing their advocacy service across a large geographical footprint and leveraging relationships including one they formed with GOTAFE, the largest vocational education provider in regional Victoria, alongside their Uniting Vic.Tas Team Leader, Rob McAdam.
GOTAFE launched its Mobile Campus in November 2021. The refurbished semi-trailer is fit out with a client reception area, private career counselling space, workshop/seminar space and a community computer lab. It provides a space for local people wanting to learn more about employment and training pathways. Together, the GOTAFE Mobile Campus and Jobs Victoria Advocates will visit Victorian communities to provide more accessible education, jobs and skills services.
Having already been to Nagambie, Merrifield and Cobram in their first few weeks, they’ll be participating in community events and expos, and setting up at new housing estates, markets, shopping centres and secondary colleges to engage with the community.
“Being able to work closely with the GOTAFE Mobile Campus team means that we can broaden our outreach and engage with more jobseekers in more locations while forming direct links with employers and other community services,” commented Rob McAdam, Team leader Employment Services, Uniting Vic.Tas, Goulburn & Ovens Murray.
“What makes our Advocates so valuable to our communities is the fact that they provide more than just employment assistance. The work they do supports jobseekers to overcome any obstacle to employment, like cultural differences, language barriers, housing, mental health and diversity issues,” he added.
From Nagambie to Beechworth, Gisborne to Bright and Yarrawonga to Wodonga, the collaboration between GOTAFE and Uniting Vic.Tas’ Job Victoria Advocates aims to bridge the gap between regional communities and delivering critical employment and education services. This is more important than ever, especially for those who have faced heightened social and economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GOTAFE is looking forward to working with local Job Advocates from Jobs Victoria as we bring our new Mobile Campus to communities across regional Victoria,” said Jane O’Brien, Coordinator of Student Attraction at GOTAFE.
“All Victorians deserve equal access to job hunting skills and support. Our partnership with Jobs Victoria will deliver for people in the regions regardless of location, access and financial barriers,” she said.
Find out how Jobs Victoria Advocates can connect you with TAFE skills, job centres, employment services, apprenticeships and more.