Sign of the times: Mandurah man desperate for work takes novel approach to job hunt

Mitch Schokker. Picture: Jon Hewson.
Mitch Schokker. Picture: Jon Hewson.

MITCH Schokker was desperate for work after he moved to Mandurah from Darwin.

The 24-year-old had been on the dole for two months and his girlfriend was six months pregnant.

He had sent his resume to more than 50 businesses, but had been unsuccessful.

Mr Schokker decided to take a different tack and took to the Old Mandurah Bridge with a ‘Work Wanted’ sign.

Within half an hour, Glenn March from Beyond Bricks Mandurah stopped and offered him a job starting the next day.

That was two months ago and Mr Schokker is now employed full time at the Rafferty Close business as a yardy.

Manager Robert Repacholi said anyone putting themself out there like that deserved a chance.

“Mitch even had his esky with him; he was ready to work then and there,” Mr Repacholi said.

“It was perfect timing because we were looking for someone.

“He already had his forklift licence, he’s got get up and go and fits in well with everyone.”

Mr Schokker said he worked as a sparky previously and only had one exam to go to become a qualified electrician.

While it was not in his preferred trade, Mr Schokker said he was “stoked” to have a job.

“I’m loving it; it’s a good opportunity,” he said.

New focus needed for job seekers

With youth unemployment at alarming levels in the Peel region, the Career Development Association of Australia is calling for a shift in the way people find work.

“While 60 per cent of jobs are found through social connectedness, university graduates are doing 90 per cent of their applications online; this is an issue,” CDAA spokeswoman Carolyn Alchin said.

“These statistics demonstrate that Australia’s youth are missing out on a significant portion of the job market, simply by how they look for work.”

Ms Alchin has called for career development and employability skills support to be entrenched in the school curriculum and degree programs.

Tips for job seekers

The Makers chief executive Rhys Williams has tips for young job seekers:
* Network
* Volunteer
* Meet potential employers in person
* Consider joining co-working spaces, like Make Place

Peel Jobs Forum

The Peel Jobs Forum is on June 1 at 6.30pm at a venue yet to be confirmed. Visit Peel Jobs Forum.

MORE: Austal welcomes naval shipbuilding plan

MORE: ‘Gut-wrenching’: Salvation Army not able to keep up with demand

MORE: Mundaring Police winning war against crime