October 10, 2013 // Franchising.com // According to the Labour Mobility Survey released by the ABS in August of this year, a staggering 345,800 people found themselves out of a job due to retrenchment in the year leading up to February 2013, suggesting that redundancy is more prevalent than ever in Australia. While high profile cases such as the closure of Ford Australia's Victorian plants grab headlines, redundancy continues to leave older workers on the employment scrapheap in a raft of industries.
For mature age workers (workers who are aged 45 years and over) redundancy can be a particularly daunting prospect to face, as reports suggest that they are often excluded from the recruitment process and not even considered for certain positions.
Cafe2U's Australasian Franchise Recruitment Manager, John Stanton has witnessed this trend first-hand "We see a lot of mature age workers who have found their positions have been made redundant enquiring about franchising with us. Many claim to have come up against considerable barriers trying find work, as a result of their age. They are using their redundancy package in a different way; not to sustain them while they seek to be re-employed in what they know, but to finance an entirely new career path."
This is certainly true for owner of Cafe2U in Archerfield, QLD David Ovens, who worked as a Facilities Co-ordinator with Woolworths for 4 years before being told his position was going to be made redundant. This was not the first time David had faced redundancy either. Prior to assuming his position with Woolworths, David had worked for Unilever for 30 years before being informed his position was being made redundant. At age 59, David said he was very disheartened to find himself in this position again and extremely concerned about his job prospects.
"In the beginning I sent off countless job applications and got nowhere; I could not even manage to secure an interview." David stated.
"I started exploring the world of franchising with Cafe2U and found that not only did they did not discriminate against older workers, but they offered great training and support systems, as well as an exceptional level of professionalism. I used my redundancy package from Unilever to fund my new career with Cafe2U and I am so glad I did - discovering this path was a godsend."
Stanton added, "Redundancy places a long term career employee under a unique set of pressures. There is a long line of workers who have dedicated themselves to one career discipline. When their career is terminated through redundancy, not only are there dwindling opportunities of getting re-employed in their industry, but there is also a void in terms of the entrepreneurial traits needed to make a small business work from a start-up phase."
"These pressures escalate if they are older because it can be a big ask developing these skills later in life. This is why we are getting a consistent line of enquiries among people who have experienced these circumstances. The benefits of franchising, as opposed to going it alone with a small business start-up is that you have the brand recognition of an established business. You have marketing support through the master franchisor and support in terms of training and development of your individual franchise and most importantly proven systems to follow. It is the perfect bridge between being your own boss without having to conjure a business model and customer base from nothing."
Stanton nominated Cafe2U as one example of the increasingly sophisticated support networks franchises are offering. Cafe2U provides training support for workers to retrain as small business operators with their Acceleration Package – a 4 week training program that not only equips workers with the training to be a top quality barista but also the skills to run their own business, including assistance with cold calling and sourcing new business.
As well as training, support and security, Stanton says that "Cafe2U offers a great work/life balance with operators typically starting and finishing early. This seems to greatly appeal to workers who are coming up to the twilight of their life and might not want to work at the same pace that they once did."
David Ovens certainly agrees "Cafe2U has given me a second lease on life and a reason to get out of bed in the morning – I am really enjoying it."
For more information about Cafe2U, visit www.cafe2u.com.au
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