Case Study

Partnership with Learn Local a boost for jobseekers in Melbourne’s south east.

By working together, a local community organisation and Chisholm are empowering disadvantaged jobseekers through tailored support and training that will help them gain sustainable employment.


Living and Learning Pakenham


Living & Learning Pakenham provides the local community with training, education and skill development in a supportive environment. As a Learn Local, the centre connects with government and community groups to identify need and respond by designing new programs. 

Pakenham is situated in Cardinia, a local government area where some residents experience disadvantage. It has an unemployment rate of 4 per cent (Victorian average 3.1 per cent) and 20 per cent of the population have an education level of Year 10 or below. In addition, 22 per cent of homes are non-English speaking and over 34 per cent have both parents born overseas.

Part of Learn Local’s charter is to foster partnerships with like-minded organisations to provide services to the community. So when they were seeking ways to help local jobseekers improve employability, they turned to Chisholm Skills and Jobs.

The challenge

When Living & Learning Pakenham came to us for assistance, we worked with them to identify community needs and develop a program to meet those needs. We understood that flexibility was required to deal sensitively with diverse participants, and that a strong partnership model would give this project the best chance of success.

The solution

Chisholm Skills and Jobs Centre at Chisholm is home to a specialist team of career professionals who help jobseekers develop job search competencies, find a training course or re-skill. We also match employers with qualified jobseekers to assist with their workforce needs.

Through our work across the region over many years we have strong links to local employers and keep current with workforce trends. We are also experienced in working with people who have diverse needs and can refer them to suitable third party services if required.

Given the vulnerability of some jobseekers, we developed a program for Living & Learning Pakenham that combined one-on-one tailored sessions with practical workshops that cover a range of topics. These include resume writing, introduction to Australian employment, networking/LinkedIn, job searching, interview skills, career exploration and first 90 days (specifically for people new to the Australian workplace).

The result

The partnership with Chisholm Skills and Jobs Centre has been so successful for Living & Learning Pakenham that they have given us a separate office/meeting space and asked us to increase our presence to two days per week.

Provision of careers counselling and workshops has led to other opportunities for collaboration.

Living & Learning Pakenham runs a successful Women on the Tools course, delivered by local Men’s Shed members, which helps women feel confident working with tools. This year Chisholm Skills and Jobs careers counsellors will take part in this event, providing advice on pathways and gaining skills for the future.

We have also been invited to partner with the centre in their upcoming Careers Expo. Our role will be to linking Living & Learning Pakenham with employers, conduct a series of workshops on the day and offer one-on-one careers counselling.

“The partnership with Chisholm Skills and Jobs Centre has been great for us and for our jobseekers,” “We really value the expertise they bring that strengthens our programs and improves the opportunities that we n offer the diverse range of people we engage with. We hope we can continue this valuable partnership into the future.”
- Miriam Cadwallader, the centre’s CEO

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