Positive Life NSW Blog

Increase your job-odds from the comfort of your home

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Shutterstock image: Man reclines on a sofa working on a laptop computer.

Some options to increase your odds of landing a job, all from the comfort of your own home.

You’d have to agree that coronavirus (COVID19) has caused a lot of disruption in our country with a heavy knock-on effect to employment. It has caused us all to reconsider what our essential services are, and perhaps even redefined what an ‘essential worker’ looks like.

In response to all the uncertainty, especially around job security, maintaining employment and looking to a future beyond COVID19, the Australian Government increased funding to assist those of us who rely on income support. This is a short-term approach that can really benefit those of us living with HIV who are looking to improve our employment options, so when the world starts turning again, we are ready to participate!

People receiving the Jobseeker payment and other Centrelink income supports aren’t the only ones getting a boost. The Government has supported TAFE NSW to offer some new online short courses to ensure people develop the skills they need to get a job, undertake entry level qualifications or transition to a new job. These mean you’ll be able to learn, re-learn or upskill quickly, and get a state recognised qualification while you are doing your bit to help ‘flatten the curve’ by staying home and physical distancing.

The best thing about these courses, is that they’re fee-free! This means you don’t have to pay a cent if you’re over 17 years old, live or work in NSW, and you’re an Australian Citizen OR Permanent Resident OR New Zealand Citizen OR Humanitarian visa holder. For people living with HIV on tight budgets, who want to increase their odds to get some kind of employment when we come out of restrictions, this is a pretty good option to follow up.

This is a good chance to get your head around the common programs used in most offices today, like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook Mail and Zoom and Skype video conferencing. Whether you’re a beginner and want to learn the basics, or a veteran user of these programs, taking a short course and upskilling your knowledge could benefit your future job prospects and will enhance your CV and job applications.

Once restrictions ease, there’s been talk about kick-starting the economy with new employment opportunities, so upskilling now could potentially move your name towards the top of that pile. It can also improve your day-to-day life as society moves more and more towards online as a way of living, doing business and connecting with each other.

TAFE NSW has listed several courses available to anyone who wants to take them. These courses vary in topic and the majority run for 12 weeks. You’ll need to do approximately 12 hours per week of study from the comfort of your own home on your own computer, laptop, or iPad with an internet connection.

You get an individual training plan when you enrol in these courses. Your plan will outline the recommended study timetable, and detail your units and assessments. Courses are flexible so you can always increase the hours of online study per week to complete the course sooner.

If data entry and computing isn’t your thing, then how does a Statement of Attainment in ‘Introduction to Infection Prevention and Healthy Body Function’ sound? Pretty snazzy if you ask me! With no entry requirements to enrol this could build your knowledge and understanding around things like infection control, personal protective equipment (PPE) and the healthy functioning of the body’s systems.

It may not delve into HIV specifically, but it might give you a further understanding of how viruses, such as HIV, live inside our body. Considering the usual cost for this course is $860.00, six hours a week of study for 12 weeks for free is a bargainl! You’ll also be able to proudly boast with confidence afterward that your knowledge of infectious diseases is evidence-based, and didn’t come from the six o’clock news or social media!

We know that having the internet connected at home is a luxury not all of us can afford. Most pre-paid plans range from $9.99 per month (p/m) for 1.5GB of data up to $79 p/m for 200GB data. As I mentioned earlier, these online courses only require 6-17 hours of study per week, so stretching the data out to last is very doable. You could even have enough data left over to do an online grocery shop.

If getting WIFI or internet at home is impossible for you, then community centres and public libraries all have free internet access (once restrictions ease of course). You can even talk to your job network provider about study options.

Another benefit from participating, is that it will fill in the time gap and get the mental cogs and wheels in your brain turning. As people living with HIV live longer, studying could be beneficial to maintaining your overall mental health and wellbeing.

If you would like to learn more about what courses are available and how to enrol, you can visit the TAFE NSW website. If you want a hand finding out what course or studies might suit you, you can call us here at Positive Life NSW on (02) 9206 2177 or email workready@positivelife.org.au.

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