TIPS for employment

A State Government initiative, the Training Information Pathways Service was introduced by program coordinator Maria Doganieri at the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House on Tuesday.

The program, an initiative of State Training and Skills Gail Tierney Minister, provides free vocational counselling and guidance to jobseekers.

“TIPS is about that first step when you are wanting to train or retrain and enter the workforce,” Ms Doganieri said.

“There is so much out there, and different people saying ‘come do this’ and ‘come do that’, but so many people don’t have a clue where to start.”

Ms Doganieri said she would act as a guide for jobseekers to help them plan for themselves a realistic career trajectory and advise them as to the best training and education options.

“I’ve heard lots of stories of people that sign up for courses and when they finish, they find that there are no jobs in that industry. And then they go back to study and find out they can’t get more money, because you only get to bite the cherry once. I’m here to help (people) make a good decision,” Ms Doganieri said.

The TIPS program will allow people to book multiple half hour sessions with Ms Doganieri, where she will help them identify their skills and provide guidance for them as they put together a career action plan.

“It’s really about empowerment and ownership. If it is imposed on someone externally, they won’t take ownership of it, but if the person has worked on their career plan themselves then they’ll be able to take responsibility for it and have that motivation,” Ms Doganieri said.

Ms Doganieri undertook training for her role over a 12 month period and has taught a range of classes at the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House, including cooking, literacy, numeracy and Italian.

“I’m really passionate about this program because it is such a great opportunity for people. I’ve been there myself, I know what it’s like,” Ms Doganieri said.