BEN O’Shannassy has three children, a Certificate 3 in welding and has been looking for work for almost three months.
Mr O’Shannassy, 27, falls outside the “youth” age bracket of 15 to 24 years as defined by the Bureau of Statistics, but will still be hit by the federal government’s changes to welfare benefits for unemployed youth.
The Black Hill resident said he understood there were some negative perceptions about young people without jobs, but he genuinely wanted to work.
“There are some people out there who don’t want to work. The trouble is when you get someone who wants to work and (a potential employer) sees Centrelink on it (the resume), they wonder if he’s like the rest of them,” he said.
“I’m willing to wash dishes full-time, just to be out there working, because I’m going insane.”
Mr O’Shannassy left high school at the end of year 10 to look for employment, before getting a part-time position at Safeway and then a job working a full-time night-shift for a transport company.
He then undertook an apprenticeship in Mildura before moving to Perth to work in the mines for nearly three years, where he gained a Diploma of Hydraulics.
After returning home to Ballarat, Mr O’Shannassy gained a full-time job, but later decided to leave due to what he said were bad working conditions.
Now he’s considering looking further afield.
“I don’t want to travel. It’ll be longer and harder, but (I’ll do it) if it’s a job,” he said.
As well as his three children, all under four years, Mr O’Shannassy helps support his partner’s three children, sharing responsibility for a family of eight.