Program provides holistic approach to finding employment

Fun soccer activities and nutritional sessions have been built into a specially-designed program to assist job seekers to find employment.

The City Pathways program – which started on October 12 – is a Melbourne City Football Club (MCFC) and MatchWorks initiative that encourages job seekers to link wellness with finding employment. Participants are engaged in a weekly low-key activity to ease them into the day, followed by lunch and an afternoon of employment-related activities with some excursions included.

MCFC deliver a light one-hour weekly exercise session prior to employment activities which include resume writing, building interview skills and connecting with local employers. Participants have enjoyed soccer sessions and listening to guest speakers’ talk about a range of topics including nutritional information.

The nutritional session on December 1 was attended by a special guest from the Manchester City women’s soccer team, Jennifer Beattie. Jennifer shared healthy eating tips as a full-time athlete with job seekers.

As well as group activities, job seekers are also supported by a mentor throughout the program who guides and works with them on a one-on-one capacity.

Mentors and participants from the City Pathways program.

Mentors and participants from the City Pathways program.

There are 18 people involved in the program, which has been running for the past eight weeks. With an additional three sessions scheduled until December 15. Six participants have found employment so far in a range of roles including customer service, logistics, hairdressing, pizza delivery and labouring.

“It’s been really exciting to have that result, and there are about eight people in the program who have never been employed or who haven’t been employed in more than 10 years,” said MatchWorks Program Mentor Ian Winter.

“So we’re actively working with that group to improve their employability skills, and ultimately get them a job.”

Program participant Kathy said she enjoys listening to program mentors Jeremy and Ian.

“It’s really calming and easy to listen to both of them. I enjoy the program so much that I’ve been here most days, I haven’t missed any,” she said.

Other participants have commented on the motivation they have received from the program to find employment and to start exercising again.

The City Pathways program is the third employment program collaboration between MCFC and MatchWorks.