By Michael Garforth
Some readers of local newspapers like The Westsider may or may not have noticed a few articles which appear to consist of welfare recipients complaining about their problematic situation. As a welfare recipient myself I thought it might be refreshing to approach this issue from a more rational frame of mind, there are many factors as to why people like me are unable to find work and they range from the personal to the global. As a person who quite enjoys examining all the potential factors into a given situation, this provides a great opportunity to examine in more detail why people like me have issues finding work.
On a personal basis I was raised by a disabled mother on welfare who abandoned high school and barely worked a day in her life and a father who lost his job and later his life to alcoholism. Needless to say I did not have the best role models growing up and as a result I don’t have any good connections other people might have to rely on when finding a job. Unfortunately for me during high school I decided to not seek work and instead focus on my studies, this leaves me in an awkward situation where I have no work experience and have no real experience with interviews either. Place these issues on top of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and you have someone who’s not very appealing to a business. Some of these issues could be my own fault and others have been thrust upon me on birth, other issues go beyond my personal issues and go to the national or global level, these national and global issues are also beyond my fault.
On a national level Centrelink hasn’t been the most caring or understanding of institutions to work with, often placing bureaucracy above all else it’s relatively easy to fall through the cracks. When third party private job seeking institutions are put in place it can be hard to trust how efficient the system is able to find work for welfare recipients. Internationally there are other factors at play including the recent financial crisis, outsourcing moving jobs overseas and the rise in technology making jobs obsolete. All these factors and many more make it harder for people in general to get work as competition grows fiercer to gain employment.
All these factors personal, global and international make it difficult for me as an individual to gain a job, but I must not let these factors prevent me from actively seeking work. Likewise I hope that those reading this will realize the difficulty welfare recipients may have when seeking a job. Even if there are a few lazy dole bludgers out there who are content with living entirely off welfare, there are plenty of individuals who give it their all but still find it difficult to progress.