Warrnambool’s Arie Eddy still searching for job as politicians promise action

Hard at work: Arie Eddy works harder than most unemployed to find work, despite going for almost three years without luck. Photo: Vicky HughsonWarrnambool teenager Arie Eddy has been searching for a job for almost three years without luck. Until Fairfax Media interviewed Mr Eddy in August, he had received only one interview despite applying for more than 780 jobs. 

Mr Eddy was left disappointed by some potential employers, a restaurant and local radio station, who offered him cadetships or job interviews, but when he contacted them they said they’d already filled the positions.

“It upset me that they filled the positions straightaway and didn’t even give me a chance to get in touch,” he said.

Two months later he’s still jobless, but now he’s optimistic.

“I’ve had an interview with Warrnambool Toyota and Clinton Baulch’s Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership. Five or six months ago I was applying for jobs and I’d just never hear back,” he said.

“At the moment I’ve been looking in the paper for jobs rather than just handing out resumes everywhere, so I’ve changed my strategy and now I’m applying for jobs I know are available.”

On Monday and Tuesday this week the state Liberal and Labor parties announced a number of new measures aimed at creating jobs. 

The Labor Party has pledged $100 million to reduce payroll tax by $1000 for each long-term unemployed person a business hires and Mr Eddy said this strategy would be the most affective.

“This to me sounds like the best incentive for business to employ someone who has been unemployed for 12 months or 12 years. With lower tax, the business doesn’t have to pay as much to employ someone,” he said.

Like Mr Eddy, Geelong resident Rod Barratt, 53, is also unemployed. A machinery operator, Mr Barratt had worked for K&S Freighters for 11 years but was made redundant six weeks ago.

He’s optimistic he’ll find work quickly when he begins his hunt in the New Year but is aware some businesses will look past him because of his age.

“Some employers do discriminate secretly against mature-age workers, you can’t really blame them for that but it doesn’t help when you’re looking for secure employment,” he said.

“But I have good confidence in myself that I’ll find work. It’s all in the way you speak and present yourself.”

Mr Barratt said the Liberal and Labor party job creation strategies sounded the same.

“I suppose it’s great they’re doing something,” he said.

“But what we don’t want to see is another $40 million being given to a business like Alcoa, which closes anyway … there needs to be value for money in the long term, not just the short term.”

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