Finding a job after school can be tricky for many. And for Bendigo’s Cassandra, it was even trickier – she wanted a career in hospitality but kept hitting roadblocks.“I completed year 12 at Bendigo Technical College in 2013. Prior to my job search at PeoplePlus I had tried applying for several jobs but had no luck because no one wanted to hire someone without any experience,” Cassandra shared.
From a recruitment perspective, Cassandra’s statement rings true. Over the years, several studies have deduced that work experience has become crucial for job seekers during the hiring process, and that those without it had little chance of securing employment.
Now, experience is almost as important as having a qualification.
“Most employers want to see practical skills from candidates,” shared PeoplePlus’ Recruitment
Advisor Becky Wall.
“A lot of knowledge can be learned on the job – but coming in with hands-on skills can be really
impactful for job seekers who want a competitive edge,” Becky said.
Cassandra knew that she needed experience, and she needed help sourcing it. When she attended her first jobactive appointment at PeoplePlus, Cassandra’s team of Recruitment Advisors and Case Managers got to work on Cassandra’s employability and looked at how they could transfer some of her skills into practical outcomes.
“My team including Warren and Becky were very helpful during my time at PeoplePlus.
“They helped me get my RSA, my driver’s license, and a barista and food handler’s certificate,”
In addition, Cassandra participated in specialised training programs through PeoplePlus that
covered communication in the workplace and working effectively with others to give her an
advantage over other job seekers applying for similar roles.
As well as meeting like-minded job seekers who were looking to improve their employability, Cassandra also learned about herself as a person, and how confidence can make a big impact when looking for work.
Armed with her arsenal of new experience and skills picked up in her training courses, Cassandra felt more self-assured when applying for hospitality and industry-related jobs.
Her Recruitment Advisor Becky noticed, and organised a trial for Cassandra at Wine Bank on View, a wine bar merchant operating from a heritage-listed bank building in Central Bendigo.
“She’s absolutely thriving and is a highly valued team member and hard worker,” said Recruitment Advisor, Becky.
Unsurprisingly, Cassandra was offered a permanent job, and within four months of working at the Wine Bank she was made Front of House supervisor.
“Working here has given me the confidence to speak to a large variety of people and handle stressful situations in a calm and understanding way.
“I work among a great team and we all get along and support each other.
“At first I thought the idea of working at the Wine Bank was crazy - I couldn't stand wine in the
slightest – but with a lot of determination and taste testing with my Manager Jarrod I can finally say I am beginning to enjoy some white wines!” Cassandra said.
Looking into the future, Cassandra hopes that one day she’ll be training and developing staff in the hospitality industry, and has even loftier ambitions of one day potentially opening her own bar and restaurant.
“What would I say to other job seekers? Don't give up - the right place is out there for you.
“Even if it takes a long time to find it, someone will believe in you and give you the chance that you need just like Becky and the Wine Bank did for me.”