Getting with tech times improves Kerry's job chances
Looking for a job after 30 years working in a small business was a daunting prospect for 59-year old Kerry Doggett.
Technology had changed enormously since the Modbury Heights grandmother was last unemployed in the late 1980s.
The resume she had written more than three decades ago on a typewriter was nowhere to be found when Kerry left her administration and bookkeeping role in the shop fittings firm back in early 2019.
She also felt her computer literacy had not kept up with the times.
“To be in the jobs market after such a long time is a challenge,” Kerry said.
“I felt the pressures of age and technology were holding me back.
“I wasn’t scared of computers. I had used accounting software in my previous role but I realised that others applying for work were more tech-savvy than me.
“I knew I needed to become better at word processing and online applications so I sought some help to improve my skills and regain my confidence.”
Kerry joined the local TechEagles club - a job seeker support group run by not-for-profit employment services organisation Workskil Australia.
TechEagles helps job seekers 45 years and over become more tech-savvy, confident and work-ready. It focusses on building the necessary tech skills among these job seekers such as online applications, working with tablets and smartphones, social media and using word programs to build a resume. The program, which began in July 2019, also provides career coaching and wellbeing support in group and one-on-one sessions.
Workskil Australia runs the TechEagles program in South Australia as well as in Victoria and NSW though the Federal Government’s Career Transition Assistance program.
Workskil Australia Chief Executive Officer Nicole Dwyer said technology can seem like an insurmountable barrier to employment for many older job seekers.
“We do see a level of tech-anxiety in the jobs market,” Ms Dwyer said.
“While technology can come naturally to those born into the modern digital world, for older job seekers that’s not often the case. Not only can older job seekers face age discrimination, those that lack digital skills feel even further disadvantaged in the jobs market.
“Workskil Australia’s focus is to improve the employability of all job seekers we come in contact with. By providing guidance, support and training, we’re seeing skill and confidence levels increase among the TechEagles participants.
“Without this level of training and support there’s a real risk the technology generation gap will continue to widen and place many job seekers at further disadvantage.”
Kerry has now completed her eight-week program with TechEagles and is looking for an administration job.
“I’ve learnt so much in a short time that I’m even able to teach my adult children a thing or two about computers,” she said.
“I’m also comfortable navigating my way around social media and I’m on Facebook and Instagram.
“I believe older workers generally have the advantage of life experience and a natural willingness to learn new things and embrace technology.
“I know I have a lot to offer and I’m hopeful there’s a job out there just right for me.”