Facing retrenchment?

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Facing retrenchment?

Many Victorians are facing changes in their working lives. The changing economy means that some of us will need to move into new jobs through no fault of our own.

Making the transition to a new role can be daunting. Initially, it will be a shock to find you may be losing your current role. Where do you start to find a new job? What’s the right job for you? Do you need extra training?

There’s lots of support to help you make a move into a new role. This website can help you think about what job might be right for you, what training you might need and where to find it. You can also find out if you could be eligible for financial assistance.

Coping emotionally

Losing your job and working reduced hours are big life changes that are likely to make you feel upset, anxious and concerned about the future. Coping with job loss may leave you disoriented when the familiar structure of your days and weeks is gone. Some people experience feelings of anxiety and depression. This is very normal. It’s important for you to share your feelings with the people who care about you, and get in touch with people and services that can help. Help with the emotional adjustment is also available from other sources (including your GP, Beyond Blue and Lifeline).

Thinking about a new job

To start with, you might want to consider where the jobs of the future are likely to be. Check the list of jobs that we think are going to need more employees in the next five years. Click on the links for a description of the job, case studies and to find training that’s related to the job.

If you’re looking for advice about careers, you can check out the Careers Advice page.

Find training options

If you know what you’d like to do, you can search for courses. The search is easy to use and you don’t have to know the exact name of the course you’re interested in to get started.

You can also find courses by looking for an occupation you’re interested in and then looking at the related courses.

Once you have an idea of the course you’d like to do, you can see which training providers offer that course. Contact them directly and use the handy checklist to help you decide which training provider is right for you.

If you aren't sure if you are ready to start training at an RTO, Learn Local can be a great place to start. Learn Local organisations provide the chance to learn new skills through adult community education and training programs. They specialise in delivering training designed to help students to gain confidence and the fundamental skills that will lead to further training opportunities and employment. You can search for a Learn Local organisation in your area, hear stories from learners and see the type of courses that are available on the Learn Local website.

Help with training costs

You might need to do some training to move into a new job and you might be eligible for government-subsidised training in a range of qualifications. If you’re eligible, the government will contribute to the cost of your training. Answer some simple questions here to see if you might be eligible. Then talk to your Registered Training Organisation to find out if you’re eligible for the course you want to do.

There are other forms of financial assistance, so visit the Fees, funding and financial support page for more information.

Skills and Job Centres

The Skills and Jobs Centres are opening across Victoria in all major regional centres and in metropolitan Melbourne. ​If you are an employee who is facing an uncertain future in your current industry, you can make an appointment to see an advisor, visit a centre to learn more, or call for a chat.

Skills and Jobs Centres are aimed at:

  • prospective students 
  • ​employers 
  • industry 
  • apprentices and trainees 
  • unemployed or retrenched workers.

Skills and Jobs Centres offer advice and a range of services including:

  • apprenticeship and traineeship advice 
  • referral to additional service providers offering welfare support and financial advice 
  • job search skills and resume preparation 
  • assistance assistance to identify existing skills with the opportunity to formalise these through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 
  • access to information on employment trends, industry areas with skills shortages and employment opportunities 
  • assistance with career and training plans, identifying training qualifications that could be undertaken to make a successful career transition.

Below is a list of Skills and Jobs Centres.

Wodonga TAFE
Tel: 1800 SKILLJOB (1800 754 555) / 02 6055 6992
Email: skillsandjobs@wodongatafe.edu.au
TAFEspace, 158 Lawrence Street, Wodonga

Bendigo TAFE
Tel: 03 5434 1411​
Email: skills&jobscentre@bendigotafe.edu.au
186 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo

​Kangan Institute
Tel: 03 9041 3893
Email: skills&jobscentre@kangan.edu.au
Building A, Office 121, Pearcedale Parade, Broadmeadows​

​South West TAFE
Tel: 03 5564 8519
Email: skillsandjobscentre@swtafe.vic.edu.au
The Old Courthouse, Timor Street, Warrnambool​

​Federation Training
Tel: 1300 133 717
Email: skillsjc@federationtraining.edu.au
Bairnsdale campus: 48 Main Street
Sale campus: 75 Desailly Street
Warragul campus: 116-118 Queen Street

​The Gordon
Tel: 03 5225 0700
Email: wdcgeelong@gordontafe.edu.au
2 Fenwick Street, Geelong (temporary address)

​Sunraysia Institute of TAFE
Tel: 03 5022 3999
Email: skillsandjobs@sunitafe.edu.au
129A Eighth Street, Mildura

​RMIT University
Tel: 03 9925 2552
Email: sajc@rmit.edu.au
Building 70, 39-43 Cardigan Street, Carlton

​Melbourne Polytechnic
Tel: 03 9269 8400
Email: courses@melbournepolytechnic.edu.au
Northland Shopping Centre

​Victoria Polytechnic
Tel: 03 9919 9988
Email: sjc@vu.edu.au
MetroWest: 138 Nicholson St, Footscray
Sunshine campus: Building W, 460 Ballarat Road
Melton: address to be confirmed​

More information and assistance

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments provide a number of forms of financial support and assistance for people who have been retrenched. This section highlights entitlements for which you may be eligible, depending on your circumstances.

If you lose your job through retrenchment, some financial assistance may be available to you through the Commonwealth Department of Human Services. So your first step should be to register with them as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to obtain or make sure you are issued with a Certificate of Separation from your last employer. The Commonwealth Department of Human Services needs this document to assess your eligibility for payment.

To register and check your eligibility call 13 28 50 if you are 22 years of age or older, or 13 24 90 if you are under 22 years of age, or go to the Department of Human Services website.

Family Assistance Office

The Family Assistance Office offers a range of payments to support families with their work and family responsibilities. It provides financial assistance and information to families including how to access and apply for:

  • Family Tax Benefit A and B
  • Child Care Benefit
  • Child Care Rebate
  • Health Care Cards
  • Rent Assistance

For more information, please call the Centrelink Families and Parents Line on 13 61 50 or visit the Families section of the Human Services website.

Child support

If you have children and there are changes in your income or care arrangements, you may need to change your details with the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.

For more information, please call 13 12 72 or see the Child Support section of the Human Resources website.

Money management is a major strain for many employees during times of retrenchment.

The Commonwealth Department of Human Services provides a free Financial Information Service (FIS). You do not need to be claiming a Centrelink benefit to access this service. To speak to a FIS officer please call 13 23 00 and choose the ‘other query’ option.


MoneyHelp provides free, confidential and independent financial advice to Victorians who are facing job loss or reduced working hours. The service is also available to people who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent. MoneyHelp can support you with information and tools to help:

  • manage your bills and debts
  • prepare a budget
  • compare debt payment options
  • take financial control
  • register for Commonwealth Department of Human Services entitlements.

To access MoneyHelp call the helpline on 1800 149 689 or visit MoneyHelp.

Retrenchment and the law

Legislation is in place that determines and regulates eligibility for redundancy and other payments in the event of an employer terminating employment, or beginning retrenchments.

For more information regarding fair work practices, unfair dismissal, general work practices and workplace legislation call the Commonwealth Government’s Fair Work information line on 13 13 94 or visit the Fair Work Commission website.

General employee entitlements and redundancy scheme

The General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS) was established by the Commonwealth Government to support employees who lose employment because their employer becomes insolvent or bankrupt. If you are owed entitlements, GEERS can help you claim from these employers.

For more information please call 1300 135 040 or go to the GEERS section of the Commonwealth Department of Employment website.