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80% of COVID-related Job Seekers Say It Is Taking More Than 4 Months To Find A New Job



New Research By Project Displaced Across 54 Industries in Australia

Sydney, 18 November 2020: As millions of Australians face continued unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis, not-for-profit job and mental health support initiative Project Displaced says up to 80% of its community are finding it is taking more than 4 months to find a new job, and half of those are finding it is taking more than 6 months.

Independent research[1] commissioned by Project Displaced in October 2020 analysed social and quantitative feedback from more than 800 unemployed people who have used Project Displaced’s services.

“We knew anecdotally that the events of 2020 were making people’s job searches more challenging than usual, and this research now substantiates that the journey to re-employment is not only longer than before COVID-19, but that is has far-reaching impacts on job seeker’ sense of confidence, their career hopes and aspirations,” says Project Displaced founder, Anthony Cohen.

Anthony Cohen, himself a former Qantas employee, adds, “We now have people coming to Project Displaced from across Australia and from at least 54 different industries. The feedback we hear every day is the same no matter the location or industry.”

Project Displaced is a non-profit organisation that supports displaced workers; offering free one-one-one and group classes that assist job seekers through the entire job search process, as well as specialised mental health first aid. 

Since its inception in March, the largest groups of unemployed people seeking help from Project Displaced have come from those industries which have been hit hardest by COVID-19:  The airlines / aviation sector made up 45% of Project Displaced bookings, and 27% were from five distinct sectors (IT, Leisure / Travel, Marketing / Advertising / Sales, Events Services and Hospitality sectors).

 

Research summary points:

Soundbite: It’s taking jobseekers nearly twice as long to get a job compared to before COVID-19. 

Evidence: 

·      Before COVID-19, research estimated it took approximately 82 days (just under 3 months) to get a job. 

·      80% of our network / community say they have been looking for a role or managed to secure a role in over 4 months, but half of these are taking over 6 months to secure a role. 

·       On average, people are taking 5 months to secure a job or are still looking 

 

2.    Soundbite: Deciding on a new career field is one of the hardest parts of jobseeking

Evidence:

·      Knowing what you want to do next is one of the hardest parts of job seeking. 

o   38% in poll said knowing what they want to do is the hardest parts of jobseeking

·      But a third of bookings of Project Displaced services have left the session with a clearer sense of their career direction 

·      Project Displaced also has a session designed especially to help those who aren’t sure where to start, and 60% of bookings for this service have left the session with a clearer sense of their career direction 

 

3.    Soundbite: COVID-19 has changed the jobseeking landscape

Evidence: 

·      Polls of our community suggest that COVID-19 has made it harder for people to achieve their career goals and their approach to finding a job is very different in 2020 than previously

·      Our clientele reflects those industries have been particularly affected by COVID. For example:

o   People with airline / aviation backgrounds make up a quarter of our bookings

o   Over half of Project Displaced bookings are by people who are unemployed, and most of these bookings are by people who have lost their job due to COVID-19

o   We also support those who are currently employed but on an uncertain basis, e.g. being on JobKeeper or working on a contract or casual basis

 

 Soundbite: Mental Health First Aid is vital for jobseekers 

Evidence: 

·      A poll of our community signalled that nearly half of respondents were most frustrated by the emotional draining nature of job hunting than other factors

·      At Project Displaced we tackle this head on by providing Mindset Coaching sessions and Mental Health First Aid support. 

·      We have particular interest in these courses by those who are unemployed and those in uncertain employment e.g. being on JobKeeper or working on a contract or casual basis

“The out-take is that the emotional and financial toll that an extended job search is creating doesn’t only impact job seekers; it extends to their family, friends and extended networks. There needs to be more support in place to assist everyone in job search cycle, particularly as Government incentives continue to reduce and then eventually cease,” said Anthony Cohen.

Project Displaced has a number of former and current job seekers who are happy to be available for comment and to share their own job search stories and experience with Project Displaced.

 

About Project Displaced

Founded in March at the beginning of the COVID lockdowns, Project Displaced is a non-profit organisation that supports displaced workers; offering free one-one-one as well as group classes that assist job seekers through the entire job search process, as well as specialised mental health first aid.

We are independent, non-denominational and run entirely by volunteers with more than 60 qualified volunteers from the recruitment, human resources, business leadership, mindset coaching and mental health first aid sectors offering their services free of charge, 7 days a week.

We aim to get people into jobs as fast as possible, and we provide free support for anyone in Australia who has been stood down or who has lost their job.  

This includes providing free resume reviews, free interview preparation, career coaching, and mental health first aid that is provided by qualified HR practitioners and recruiters who generously volunteer their time and expertise to help our job seeker community.

Started by Sydney-based Anthony Cohen, who worked for Qantas for more than 16 years, his partner is an orchestral musician, and both have had their work contracts put on hold or cancelled. The COVID-19 crisis hit them and their extended network very personally, and this inspired Anthony to take direct action.

“We set up Project Displaced to help our community through this terrible and very sudden crisis,” explains Anthony. “After both my partner and I lost our jobs, I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing, so I came up with the idea of Project Displaced.”

Project Displaced is also recording the breadth and depth of the impact of this crisis across industries so that there may be a clearer picture of that impact. 

Job seekers are encouraged to book a free consultation or join any of the free group job search classes at the Project Displaced website; and join the community on Facebook.

https://projectdisplaced.org.au

https://facebook.com/ProjectDisplaced

info@projectdisplaced.com

About Lotti O’Dea

Lotti O’Dea works with not for profit organisations to help them understand and communicate their impact, drawing on her background in evaluation, social cost benefit analysis and measuring ‘hard to capture’ outcomes for both government and not for profit organisations. 

 

Lotti is available for comment via lotti.odea@gmail.com


ENDS – 


[1] Research undertaken by Evaluation and Social Impact Specialist Lotti O’Dea