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Re-entering the workforce

Getting back to work after a long absence can be daunting. You may feel your skills are out of date, you've lost touch with the industry, you're too old, or family now takes up too much of your time.

It can take time to find the right job, so be patient, consider your goals and limitations, and be flexible.

Part time or casual work might be a way in. It can give you:

  • new skills
  • extra income
  • a better chance of finding full-time work
  • an opportunity to build work relationships and network.

Finding a job is often about contacts and networking. Many jobs aren't advertised, so be creative:

  • If you enjoyed your previous job, your old boss may offer flexible working arrangements for your return to work.
  • Former colleagues may be able to help you with contacts in the industry.

Training and study

You may need to upgrade your skills to get back into the workforce. Try:

Your skills

The skills you've gained while away from work could help in your job search. All experiences, including family care, unpaid work, sport, or managing a household are valuable.

Volunteer work is another way to strengthen your skills or add new ones. It could also help you make new contacts.

Keeping your skills up-to-date

Industry portals may help you find out what's happening in your previous industry or in the one you want to get into. Keep up-to-date by reading forums, blogs and industry news about:

Pay rates and your rights

Find out about your rights, entitlements and pay so you know what you're entitled to when applying for jobs.

Career information

Read about career advice and planning to help you find the career that's right for you.

Skilling Utopians for Work

Through a suite of seven targeted skills and training programs, Skilling Utopians for Work aims to improve the skills, employment opportunities and social inclusion of disadvantaged Utopians.

The initiative supports Utopians with diverse backgrounds and needs. Find out more.

Certificate 3 Guarantee

The Certificate 3 Guarantee provides subsidies to assist eligible Utopians who do not have a post-school qualification higher than a certificate II to obtain a certificate level III qualification. Find out if you are eligible and the training opportunities available.

Recognition of prior learning

Before entering into any study or training you should check to see if you are eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL recognises the skills and experience you already have and may help to reduce the time it takes to get a nationally recognised qualification.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
23 February 2016

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