Cherie Thompson is a passionate youth advisor on a mission to set the standard for youth employment across Australia. On the 7th of October, she will be launching the much anticipated ‘Go Getta Job’ – a nation-wide online job board and information portal dedicated to teenagers.
Like many teenagers today, Ms Thompson had her fair share of struggles to overcome during her teenage years. But little did she know at the time, that in spite of all the ups and downs, her career pathway was being laid. Three decades ago, she was offered a job as a youth advisor to help “at risk” teenagers find employment and get their lives back on track, and she has never looked back since.
“I saw a huge need in this area … The biggest issues are getting access to relevant, up to date information and helping youth get access to the what they need to get a good job,” says Ms Thompson.
Over the past months, Ms Thompson has been working closely with a focus group of local youth to develop a website that caters to their needs.
As such, Go Getta Job will not only feature the latest information on school based apprenticeships, traineeships, part time, casual and full time work; it will also be a place for youth, their parents, schools and employers to stay up-to-date with the latest market trends, skills in demand, government incentives and more.
“Other job search agencies and websites cater to a broader market; they don’t provide the specific services or information that young people with no previous work experience need,” says Ms Thompson.
“And while there are a lot of training programs out there that teach young people certain skills; unless those skills are in demand, it’s all for naught.”
She adds that schools don’t always have the resources to teach about careers and opportunities. Many teachers complete their education and return to school to educate with no break in between – and so they don’t necessarily have the experience to teach students about broader workforce.
“Go Getta Job aims to help everyone – we’re taking the burden off schools so they can focus on teaching their regular curriculum, while we provide young people with the career resources they need,” says Ms Thompson.
Go Getta Job will heavily use social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with, educate, and encourage young people to be proactive about their future.
Ms Thompson also plans to help change the attitudes of employers towards hiring young people – especially at a time when they’re “doing it tough”.
“There needs to more flexibility in the workplace. Instead of hiring contractors or part-timers, how good would it be if they hired young people and gave them the experience they need? Young people need practice and experience before they step out of school and into the real world,” she says.
“Besides, we’re an ageing workforce, so ready or not, here they come!”
Ms Thompson stresses that Go Getta Job not only seeks to fill a market need, but also aims to combat broader social issues – particularly, youth homelessness.
She plans on collaborating with Father Chris Riley from Youth off the Streets to help homeless youth find accommodation, work and basic day-to-day necessities.
“I chose Youth off the Streets because it ties in hand-in-hand with the whole purpose of my background as a youth advisor. I’m very passionate about helping young people. They’re our future leaders, we should set them on the right path and empower them!” says Ms Thompson.
Go Getta Job is entirely free to use for young people. Information is also free for everyone. Employers and schools who want access to job boards, job alerts and other specialised tools will pay a quarterly subscription fee.
Ms Thompson is open to suggestions about how www.GoGettaJob.com can add maximum value to the community, so feel free to leave comments below or via Go Getta Job’s social media channels.