Why are you doing this Confident4Work research project?

A recent survey found that two-thirds of women returning to work after a break away from it (mostly to look after children) felt their current qualifications and skills were out of date. Also, I personally know people in this situation.

I want to identify ways and provide tools that will help both women and men prepare for a return to the workforce after a break by maximising their employment opportunities, whatever their age.

Where will I be able to find out what you’ve discovered in this project?

In the first instance, information will appear on this blog (confident4work.wordpress.com), which is regularly updated. In addition, everyone interviewed will receive a summary of the findings by email.

Who are you interviewing for the project?

People currently away from the workforce, but intending to go back to work in some form

People already back in the workforce, after a break from it of say 12 months or more

Managers or HR experts with experience in selecting people for employment

Student advisers in vocational or higher education who understand the struggles people go through to choose a training organisation and to finish a course.

If I volunteer to be interviewed, what sort of questions will you ask me?

If you’re currently away from the workforce, but intending to go back to work in some form, I’ll ask you about your plans, how well prepared you think you are for a return, and what sort of information and support would be most useful to help ease the transition. (It doesn’t matter how far into the distance you might be thinking about.)

If you’re already back in the workforce, after a break from it of say 12 months or more, I’ll ask you about your experience of preparing for and going back to work and what advice you’d give others thinking of heading down that same path.

If you’re a manager or HR expert, or if you have an advisory role in vocational or higher education, I’ll ask you about your experience with employing people and what advice you’d give to someone looking to upgrade their skills or qualifications after a time away from work and also from study.

Do the interviews have to be face-to-face?

If you’re in the Brisbane area, ideally I like to do face-to-face interviews because it’s easier to follow up points that arise. But if it’s more convenient for you, I’m happy to do interviews by phone, or even by Skype.

If you’re somewhere else in Australia, phone or Skype is clearly the way to go.

If you’re overseas, I’d love to hear from you if you think you can add to the conversation, but I won’t be doing phone interviews internationally.

Will I be paid for the interview?

No, but if you are in one of the the first two (‘worker’) categories shown above, you will receive a $25 Myer-Coles Gift Card as a ‘Thank-you’ for your participation.

Will you use my name?

Only if you agree to that on the Consent Form that I will email you. Otherwise you will be anonymous.

Will you send me the questions in advance?

Yes. This will give you time to think about them. But we can talk about related points that are important to you, because we all have individual circumstances, goals and plans.

I will also send you the Information Sheet and Consent Form I am required to provide under the terms of approval of the project by the Griffith University Human Ethics Committee.

How do I contact you to set up an interview or to get more information?

Simply email me at Griffith University: d.dymock@griffith.edu.au and I will get back to you promptly.

If you’re not sure if you want to be interviewed yet, simply sign up for this blog by clicking on the ‘Follow’ button on the main page, without obligation, and watch as it unfolds.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Darryl Dymock

Director, Confident4Work Project

Griffith University