This article has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.
REDLANDS business livewire Alison Blomkamp is having a busy start to 2007.
Alison is best known for her work with the innovative support agency, Business Grow.
The agency, with Redland Shire Council funding and sponsors including The Redland Times, has helped dozens of local businesses with advice and training.
This January, however, Alison’s focus is a project that looks at the needs of a different sector of the community.
Alison is project manager of the women2work program, It’s Time for ME, which aims to help Redlands women return to the workforce.
Almost 100 women have responded to the call for enrolments in the next round of the program starting February 5.
The strong demand has also had project coordinator Regan Keane’s phone running hot.
The team, including co-facilitators Penny Delfs and Kathryn Giovanis, faces a difficult task selecting just 20 women for the seven-week course.
"It must come down to those who are desperately seeking work," Alison says.
"There is an expectation that after the seven weeks they will go into the workforce.
"Their previous failures to get a job may come from many reasons. They may have been unsure of themselves in the interview situation or did not know what to put in an application letter.
"A lot of people write a very bland application that does not really say what they stand for and why someone should employ them."
It’s Time for ME includes about 20 modules in a format that the team designed to cover the main "soft" and "hard" skills that win jobs.
Personal skills such as self confidence and attitude are on the "soft" list, while computer skills are among the "hard" essentials.
The program includes a TAFE certificate I in information technology to give a grounding in the dominant Microsoft applications.
Another round of the program will begin in April.
It’s Time for ME has funding from the Queensland Department of Employment and Industrial Relations and runs in partnership with Redland Council.
Alison faces a busy 2007 with Business Grow soon to expand its services and require another staff member on a "point-five" basis
In February, Alison will celebrate the fourth anniversary of her move to the Redlands from Charleville, where she was a regional business adviser.
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