QUALIFIED fitter Fred Ladiges knows what “involuntary redundancy” feels like after his five-year role at SEM Fire and Rescue came to a bitter end.
It was October 2011 and Mr Ladiges, 48, was one of 21 workers laid off at the Ballarat fire truck manufacturer.
The body builder found himself at the counter of a Centrelink office for the first time in his life and it wasn’t a good feeling.
He felt judged and walked away without looking back.
“You don’t know where your next income is going to come from,” Mr Ladiges said.
“We’ve all got mortgages.”
Mr Ladiges handed in a dozen resumes before receiving three job offers in one day and counts himself as “one of the lucky ones”.
Lynn Slater, 58, was in the next group of 20 to go from SEM after the discontinuation of a CFA order caused more job cuts in June this year.
When Mr Slater was laid off he took a short break before chasing some jobs, but it has been a disheartening process for the skilled turner and fitter.
“I’ve put in for jobs in a different field altogether,” he said.
“If I get a part-time job for a couple of days I’ll be happy.
“There’s not much out there at the moment, I’m telling you that.”
Ian Wasley was 61 when he was made redundant from a Ballarat blind manufacturer earlier this year. and for 13 weeks he searched for a job.
He worried no one would employ an older worker.
“After a few days at home you start to think ‘what am I going to do now?’,”he said.
“Then you go through the whole Centrelink caper.”
Mr Wasley said it came as a relief when he was eventually offered a position with another company in his chosen field, Ballarat Blinds and Curtains.