June 2017 was all about jobs and employment with our top rating story about the number of people who queued for hours just for a shot at working with one of the businesses opening in the redeveloped Mandurah Forum.
Our reporter Marta Pascual Juanola was blown away when she saw the line of job seekers, reminding her of photographs she had seen of the Great Depression.
Since these scenes, Mandurah’s unemployment rate has fallen dramatically.
Hundreds flock to jobs fair
There was barely room to move in the Mandurah Forum when the growing shopping centre put out the call for workers to apply for positions at some of the new businesses that planned to expand into its newly redeveloped retail space.
The event was organised by the centre’s administration in an attempt to connect the region’s job seekers with the centre’s new retailers, and promised 100 jobs up for grabs.
“With 15 businesses involved and more than 100 jobs available, this is a chance to make connections with potential employers, ask questions about roles and apply for available jobs on the spot,” Forum manager Jacqueline McKenzie said ahead of the event.
Around 3.30pm on June 8, before the event started, Forum staff reported almost 100 keep job seekers already lining up in front of the centre’s Coffee Club.
By 4.30pm, the queue had reached Coles, located at the opposite end of the shopping centre, and staff were reporting more than 1000 attendees.
Among job seekers was 19-year-old Reece McCarthy, who has spent almost a year looking for a job after finishing a certificate three in information technology (IT).
“I finished school at Year 10, I dropped out and then I went to TAFE, I did a course there and I finished the course and I started looking for work,” Mr McCarthy said.
“It was a bit of a struggle to find a job on the field because everyone is thinking that IT is the way to go and it’s definitely a lot harder to break in than people think it is.”
After trying to find a job in IT for several months unsuccessfully, he decided to settle for any job outside of the field.
“It’s been really horrendous, just trying to look for any work,” he said.
“I’d send an email out and then I’ll just get nothing back besides and automated message or not even that sometimes.
“[And] You don’t know what happened on your end, if you didn’t include enough in your resume or you weren’t bubbly enough in your 100-word or less speech or whatever, it’s really hard.
“It makes you wonder where do people find the other people that they hire.”