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The Salvation Army Employment Plus Logo

The Salvation Army Employment Plus

The Salvation Army Employment Plus is one of Australia’s largest government-funded employment
services. Operating from 109 offices nationally, Employment Plus offers businesses a free
professional screening and recruitment service. More significantly, it provides pathways for job
seekers who often face a range of barriers to employment.

Last year, Employment Plus placed 20,000 people into employment with nearly 13,000 employers. Tens of thousands of others were assisted in other ways, including training and skills development.
Job seekers came from all walks of life—from highly skilled and employable, to those with major
disadvantages such as homelessness and substance abuse.

The impacts of unemployment can be devastating. Beyond financial hardship it can cause lives to
spiral out of control, often resulting in mental health issues and relationship breakdowns.
Recognising this, Employment Plus expanded its services during the year to include:

  • the Psychological Counselling service, which provides confidential support from qualified psychologists for people facing emotional and mental health issues to help them cope with, and feel prepared for, the responsibilities of work;
  • a new phone-based service that was successfully trialled and will be expanded during 2014/15 to complement face to face counselling; and
  • enhanced training and development services under the name Training Plus, a Registered Training Organisation offering accredited and non-accredited courses, all designed to equip job seekers for ongoing employment. Qualifications range from short courses to diplomas. Employers too can engage Training Plus to develop tailored training programmes for their existing employees.

Luke's Story

Luke had been long-term unemployed, struggling with drug addiction and unable to find work without
a driver’s licence. Employment Plus found Luke some short-term casual work to address the gaps in
his resumé. While this provided him with some work experience, a few dollars and, most importantly,
a reference, the end goal was to find him something permanent.

Just as a position looked to be opening up with a loyal Employment Plus client, Luke found himself
homeless. His Employment Plus consultant explained the situation to the employer, pressing the
point that Luke needed a position urgently to help him get his life back on track. The employer was
prepared to offer Luke an interview the following day. Temporary accommodation was arranged, allowing him to interview for the position the following morning.

The next day Luke was picked up and taken to the interview. Luke had his overalls on so that he was
ready to start work, and had with him two bags (his only possessions) when he attended the interview. Afterwards the employer raised his concern that Luke’s lack of a vehicle and accommodation would impact on his ability to work.

However, during the interview Luke’s consultant had arranged ongoing accommodation, which enabled
Luke to start work immediately.

Luke has now been employed for over three months and so far things are going well. Luke was
initially commuting by bus but has made friends with another employee who can offer him a lift to work.