Job counselling service closes

The State Government announced recently that it had stopped funding four Workforce Development Centres, including SMYL’s free career counselling service, as of September 30.

SMYL chief executive Sam Gowegati said the decision was a blow to thousands of job seekers who used the service every year.

‘SMYL provides over 16,000 services per year through this service in the Fremantle-Peel region and now those jobseekers will have to fend for themselves,’ he said.

‘This is a counselling service, focusing on building self-esteem and career planning.

‘The range of services we provide is cast from one-on-one career guidance sessions to self esteem workshops to workshops on interview techniques and we adopt our services to the needs of our clients.

‘It is unique. There is no one operating within our community who will be able to adequately compensate for the loss of this service.’

SMYL’s group training section, registered training organisation or CARE school will not be affected.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said with the mining boom moving out of its construction phase and teenage unemployment at more than 21 per cent in the south metropolitan area, it was ‘absolutely essential’ that people looking for work have the support they need.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Terry Redman said the State Budget had put pressure on a number of government agencies to make savings.

‘Career services provided by these centres will continue to be available to Perth residents through the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Career Centre,’ he said.

‘The Career Centre will ensure it has the capacity to cater for additional people seeking these services, including those from the Fremantle-Peel region.’