Swinburne helps job seekers shop for skills

Monday 30 May 2016

Skills and Jobs Advisers Merrilyn Doughty (left) and Ninna Calvert at the smart new kiosk

Swinburne's Skills and Jobs Advisers Merrilyn Doughty (left) and Ninna Calvert are on hand at Eastland to chat to shoppers about their study options.

In summary

  • Face-to-face contact gives people the confidence to chat about their goals  
  • Bridging the gap between those looking for work and those offering it
  • Off-campus advice in a friendly enviroment

Job seekers, students looking to start training, workers needing to reskill and employers in the outer east now have a new service to support them at Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood – the Swinburne Skills and Jobs Centre (SJC).

The SJC is a kiosk loaded with technology that will enable customers to interact with the Swinburne University of Technology website, job sites and discover resources to assist with training and work. 

Skills and Jobs advisers, Ninna Calvert and Merrilyn Doughty, say the kiosk has attracted a diverse collection of curious shoppers in its first few weeks.

Planting a seed

“We’ve helped people with questions about vocational education and provided information about many Swinburne courses. People are pleased that we are here and able to follow up their enquiries for them,” Merrilyn says. “We can plant a seed, give them ideas and offer them a place to start as they get ready to learn new skills.”

“The opportunity to have face-to-face contact appeals to mature-age students, parents of senior school students, students seeking apprenticeships and people looking to learn a new skill, or return to the workforce,” Ninna says. “We are able to help them feel like a person, rather than a number.”

Moving off campus

Swinburne Start  manager Linda Kearley says the SJC will help to bridge the gap between people looking for work and those offering it. “The new centre will allow us to move off campus and into the community,” Ms Kearley says.

“Swinburne can offer eligible students subsidised training to help them reskill, particularly those who have completed Vocational Education Certificates and Diplomas.” This includes pre-apprenticeship courses in bricklaying, plumbing, electro technology, horticulture and engineering across Swinburne’s Croydon, Wantirna and Hawthorn campuses.

Head of Swinburne's Department of Trades and Engineering Technology Sharon Rice says the SJC will provide course and job advice that people could access while they did their shopping.

The SJC, funded by the Victorian Government and designed to provide a warm and inviting experience, is on level two of the shopping centre and open during business hours and on weekends.