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Guide designed to help those made unemployed by Covid-19 navigate new job market

A lot of people made unemployed by Covid-19 are older and haven't had to look for a job for a number of years. 

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Many older Kiwis who’ve become unemployed haven’t had to look for a job in years. Source: 1 NEWS

The Government has put out a targeted guide to help people made unemployed by Covid-19 navigate the new job market.

Three weeks into lockdown, Kerikeri woman Robina Manakau suddenly found herself without a job, the first time she's been unemployed since 1995.

“I feel displaced, that's the word, honestly I'm so used to the routine of up, off to work, the preparation of work and so now it's a change,” Ms Manakau said.

She isn't alone, with the latest statistics showing Northland has the highest unemployment rates in the country at 10.3 per cent, well above the national average of 6.3.

“Tourism has been the hardest hit no doubt but trades and labour, health and education, engineering and construction all come back as we come out of lockdown,” Randstad Recruitment Agency’s Katherine Swan said.

With the focus now on up-skilling those job hunting, the Government has created a 50-page handbook.

It has some mental health advice as well as tips on updating your CV, what to wear in an interview, and how to clean up your social media account, details that are important in a job market that looks very different to a decade ago.

“It's changed a huge amount, it's changed a lot so it's quite daunting to be thinking of having to go back and do interviews again,” Ms Manakau said.

Unemployment will be one of the major issues this Government has to tackle.

“People are having to switch between jobs, thinking where might my job fit if I can’t do the jobs I've been doing for a period of time,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“This is one small piece of a very large puzzle.”

But National's employment spokesman Shane Reti says he doesn't have confidence the Government's plan.

“It don't have confidence the Government has got the right number of jobs or providing the right incentives, to get the right people in the right job,” Mr Reti says.

Ms Manakau is now up for an industry change.

“My whole life I've been a credit controller, accountancy, accounts, administration and now I'm back in Kerikeri and applying at an Orangewood, which is seasonal picking job.

The job hunter’s workbook will be available soon at local libraries and through Work and Income.