Middle-aged women focus of employment program

By Jackson Graham

January 24, 2022

The swastika ban is the first law of its kind to be proposed in an Australian state or territory. (Stephane Debove/Adobe)

Women at risk of unemployment and aged over 45 years old are being supported into work with the help of a Victorian government program. 

It follows numerous reports highlighting that the recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic was more likely to disadvantage women, people in insecure work and young people. 

In a targeting of the government’s Jobs Victoria program, recruitment company Chandler Macleod is directing the support to put women into entry-level roles within industries they have no previous professional experience in. 

“Our program will prioritise soft skills like resilience and team spirit over work experience to provide those who may have been previously overlooked with an opportunity to demonstrate their full potential,” the company’s chief executive, Peter Acheson, said. 

The partnership with the Victorian government has already seen results in helping women secure employment in the food industry. The company has coined it the “no glass ceiling program”.

The new recruits include a mother-of-two and domestic abuse survivor who has been unemployed for 14 years, and women who have faced hardship during the pandemic, including losing businesses. 

“Having regular employment will relieve me of enormous stress and worry,” Diana, one woman to find work, says. 

The candidates receive two-to-three weeks of employer-led training, case-management plans, psychometric assessments, and an intensive post-placement support program.

The recruitment company is among 75 Jobs Victoria partners in the state; it has a goal of addressing the impact of unemployment inequality facing Victorian women. 

A 2021 Grattan Institute report found that at the peak of lockdowns, 8% of women had lost their jobs compared with 4% of men. 

“Women’s employment improved as the economy re-opened, but many groups have not caught up, and on current forecasts, unemployment will remain too high for too long,” the report notes. 

It also found women lost more hours of work during the recession, with reasons including a higher proportion of women being employed in jobs affected by lockdowns and being in part-time or casual employment.


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