Ballarat’s casual workforce is at risk of being left with no income as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down industries and compromises businesses.
A Ballarat businesswoman has teamed up with a casual worker from Sovereign Hill to expand her online employment platform, with the aim of creating new work opportunities.
Belinda Eden is the founder of Troop Employment, a recruitment agency that previously specifically targeted the hospitality industry.
In response to COVID-19, Ms. Eden has expanded her online employment platform for all businesses, individuals and job seekers to list and log on to the platform for free.
The world is not shutting down, we just have to adapt the way we work for at least the next six months.
Belinda Eden, Employment of the Troops
Travel agent Lee Haase and Sovereign Hill casual workers Marie Economou, Timothy Corrigan and Lisa Laine have already listed their job seeker profiles on the site.
“I have applied for over 20 jobs in the past few days and almost half of them responded saying their future was also uncertain or the job itself was no longer available,” said Mrs. Laine.
“We need companies to get on this platform and individuals who are privileged not to be so affected by the coronavirus who may be able to provide work opportunities.
“We need people who need to do their yard, their house repaint, their kids attentive, their shopping done – they can come up and say I have $ 50 for you to do this work for me.
“For me, $ 50 a week could mean feeding the kids or not feeding the kids. That’s how bad it is for me with five kids.”
As the travel agent and owner-operator of The Travel Collective, Ms. Haase said she was at “breaking point.”
“We work for free, all hours of the day, trying to change people’s reservations, organize refunds for them where possible and whatever we can do to help our customers,” he said. she declared.
“Each avenue through which we book has different rules, there is not just one rule for everyone. We are all at breaking point.
“There is currently no government support for us.”
Ms Haase said she had listed a job seeker profile on Troop Employment with the goal of earning income during the coronavirus pandemic and being able to reopen her business when travel resumes.
“I’ll just have to get through this as best I can, do whatever I can in the meantime and once the world is open again I’ll still be open for business,” she said.
“I have had my own business for five years, I have no references. I am open to any job.”
Sovereign Hill casual Timothy Corrigan said that since being told on Monday that Sovereign Hill casuals would not be offered work for the foreseeable future, he had “desperately” tried to register with Newstart. .
“My partner is in a similar boat, she’s probably going to lose her job in the next few weeks, so it’s completely up in the air. We don’t know what to do,” he said.
“There’s really not much we can do, but that’s where this platform comes in so well. Now we’ve got a lead, there’s a thread to pull and something to try to get even a little bit of. income every week. “
Sovereign Hill colleague Marie Economou said she was studying in Melbourne and planned to move there this week.
“I had to put my plans on hold now, I can’t afford to move there. It’s really difficult,” she said.
Ms Eden said she was in a similar position and could no longer generate income from her business, with canceled events and staff and the hospitality industry in dire straits.
But she knew Troop Employment could help others.
“My platform is already built and is already active. All I had to do was make some minor changes,” she said.
Ms. Eden and Ms. Laine are calling companies that need additional staff and people who might need workers for jobs to be listed on Troop Employment.
“We know that there are people who have money to burn because of the hoarding situation. These are the people I personally appeal to, to consider ways of giving someone a job,” Ms. Laine said.
“We are all skilled in different fields. Everyone has something to give,” Ms. Eden said.
“The world is not shutting down, we just have to adjust the way we work for at least the next six months.
“People need hope. People need to know that they are not forgotten and that each person is considered a person. We are all in the same boat.”
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