Hairdressing is her passion and her career, but Catherine* suffered a huge setback last year when she lost her job during the pandemic and spent a stressful five months unemployed.
“I applied for countless jobs, including roles in factories and supermarkets, and didn’t get any call backs,” Catherine says.
“Then, as the salons opened, there were more and more positions, but not all were offering the hours I needed.”
Catherine, 54, is again doing what she loves after finding work as a senior stylist at U-R Next Hairdressing in Rowville.
The salon is confident it can provide the job security she needs thanks to a $20,000 wage subsidy from the Jobs Victoria Fund.
Jobs Victoria supports people looking for work and connects employers to the staff they need, providing information, advice and support in person, online and on the phone.
The Jobs Victoria Fund provides Victorian businesses with wage subsidies of up to $20,000 for each new eligible employee. With this financial support, employers can hire people to help their businesses grow.
Catherine says her return to work means she no longer worries about how she will provide for her family.
“I still support my kids. They’re young adults, but they’re apprentices, and I’m a single parent. Just to have that job security is a weight off my shoulders.”
Better yet, Catherine is working in a salon that allows her to explore her passion and creativity.
“It’s a really nice place to work,” she says. “It’s a really professional, friendly team who make me feel like I’ve been there for years.”
U-R Next gains the skills and reliability it needs
The Jobs Victoria Fund encourages business owners to hire women over 45 and other people seeking work who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic.
Joe, who recruited Catherine to U-R Next Hairdressing, was looking for an employee with the right skills who planned to stick around.
“At the salon, age isn’t a factor,” Joe says. “For me, it comes down to experience and the ability and eagerness that is required for someone to work and maintain their position. It’s very hard to find reliable, long-term team members.”
Salon manager Cecilia says employing another senior stylist had given U-R Next Hairdressing an opportunity to grow.
“Having a fourth stylist to take appointments means we can start taking in clients in increasing numbers,” she says.
$20,000 wage subsidy creates business security
While the economic uncertainty remains as a result of the pandemic, the $20,000 wage subsidy from the Jobs Victoria Fund gives Joe the confidence that U-R Next Hairdressing can maintain Catherine’s role.
“At this stage, because we were uncertain about what the future holds for any business in Melbourne, my main concern is to make sure that Catherine is constantly employed,” he says. “This wage subsidy gives that real reassurance we needed.”
* Surnames omitted by request.