Tasmanian Times


New boost for Tasmanian job seekers


• Matchbox Works: New boost for Tasmanian job seekers

An exciting and innovative new program is empowering Tasmanian job seekers struggling to find work in an increasingly competitive market. Based on the principles of a successful Swiss program, Matchbox Works is bringing cutting edge concepts to Tasmanians by challenging and revitalising the standard job application process. Job seekers today face many challenges, and employers make fast decisions about who will and will not make it to a job interview. So what is it that will catch a potential employer’s attention? This is precisely what Matchbox Works capitalises on.

Matchbox Works founder, Donovan John Szypura has worked for more than two decades in the creative industry. In Switzerland he successfully coached job seekers in developing their ‘Personal Brand’. This is an age old concept, of which the principles have been utilised by pop stars, actors, sports people and of course, politicians, in order to reach their target audience and increase their market value. Just take a moment to consider all of the personal advertising we are being flooded with in the wake of the upcoming elections. “We all know times are changing, fast, but your standard job application still looks the same as its twenty year old counterpart. Advertising and marketing principles help businesses and corporations to win the customers, why shouldn’t these same principles work for job seekers?” Donovan asks, “Well the answer is, they do!”.

Matchbox Works, is offering an intensive four-week program in which participants will learn to present their unique skills and personalities in a creative and authentic way.

A pilot program has now been launched in collaboration with Tasmanian job service provider ‘Workskills’. Workskills Employment Solutions is a not for profit community organisation
which has assisted thousands of people to access training and find ongoing, sustainable employment.

The pilot project will take place in the recently opened venue ‘MyPlaceinTown’ in Hobart, a creative meeting space which is attracting new and innovative businesses.

Founder Bill Aronson is predicting a transformation over the next decade which will see Tasmania become a powerhouse of creativity. Matchbox Works represents the beginning
of a new and exciting era, igniting the possibilities for job seekers in Tasmania.

What is Matchbox?

Matchbox is a job seeker program based on the principle that seeking employment is a personal advertising campaign.

What will I learn?

• The principles of marketing and advertising.

• Creative skills on how to develop a meaningful personal campaign.

• New media and presentation skills and many others …

What does it take to join Matchbox?

• A bucket full of motivation.

• Basic computer skills.

• An up-to-date resume.

How can I join Matchbox ?

Get in touch with Workskills in Hobart, Tasmania or contact us via email: mail@matchbox-works.com

More information:

Matchbox Works




Companies win work through advertising and marketing. Now it’s your turn.

Matchbox four-week-program


Team building (approx. 12 participants)

Resource persons (Coaches & Experts)

Modern Workstation

Apple computers


Photo cameras



Marketing and advertising principles

Self presentation

Creative layout skills


Social media

Web design

Job interview training

Software Skills

Layout software: Scribus

Image editing software: Gimp

Website development: Wix

Personal Advertising Campaign

Print campaign

Online campaign


Matchbox Works

My Place In Town www.myplaceintown.net

121 Bathurst St, Hobart, TAS 7000

Date and Time

The Matchbox four-week-program takes place on a daily basis (Monday–Friday) between 9–12 in the morning and 1–4 in the afternoon
17 February 2014 – 14 March 2014

Download all the details:

• ABC: The Youth Unemployment Train Wreck

A national welfare group has declared Tasmania’s youth unemployment is at the levels of some of the “train wreck” economies in Europe.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence says Tasmania has the worst levels in a country which has a national youth unemployment average of 12.2 per cent.

It says more than 17 per cent of 15 to 24-year-olds are unemployed in Tasmania.

In 2008 the figure was a 10 per cent.

In the west and north-west it is even higher, with 21 per cent of young people out of work, the highest level of any region in Australia.

The organisation’s Tony Nicholson says the figures are a disaster.

“These are verging on the levels of youth unemployment you see in some of the train wreck economies of Europe and in Australia, where we’ve had a pretty strong economy for a long time, this is just not acceptable,” he said.

“It is a national problem, but here in Tasmania it’s a particular problem having grown from 10 per cent five years ago to now 17.5 per cent.”

He is urging the community not to ignore the plight of Tasmania’s youth.

“The cost to our economy is very significant,” he said.

“If we continue to have escalating rates of youth unemployment higher than 20 per cent, it’s a disaster in terms of what the impact it has on those young people and their families.

“It’s going to be a disaster for our economy in terms of the escalating welfare bill.”

Read more here

ABC: Jobs and unemployment: What’s the real story in Tasmania?

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Matt

    March 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

    The exhibition date is set, all details on the Matchbox facebook page:


    Or download the PDF here:


    Hope to see some of you there 🙂


  2. peter mackenzie

    March 4, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Steve #11 yeh interesting thought, and I don’t know I am smart enough to have an answer – even after thinking about it while idling around the garden moving sprinklers!

    In my ideal world, I’d create jobs that were “fail-free” so you got the experience at various types of work, and if you didn’t turn up one day or stuffed up, you’d still get more chances – and then the young person and a mentor would work on the rough edges over time.

    I have good things done in agricultural work, where the provider guaranteed x number of workers per day, but not always the same crew.

    But working backwards, there’s a lot of support programs for school age kids from quite young, that could and should be better resourced and would assist young people to reduce their disadvantage, help with literacy and numeracy to help prepare them to be work ready when they got to that point.

    Going back to my key point, there are good programs, but at the same time there are still too many people trying to transition from school to work who aren’t work ready.

    The right group of people together could probably detail what should change, what needs to be done more etc. I am going to try and convene a forum to do that in the north before mid-year.

    Brain very fuzzy tonight from thinking overload, so I hope that makes some sense.

  3. Steve

    March 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    10; I’m interested in your opinion peter.
    I’ve had a fairly wide experience in the employment world. Although for the last twenty five years I’ve run my own business, prior to that I worked all over Australia in many different jobs and industries.
    My conclusion is that the one thing that has really changed and would have made my earlier career totally different, is the death of the cash economy. In my youth (late seventies and into the eighties) it was very easy to get work. All you had to do was ask. Someone, somewhere, would give you something to do. At the end of the day, they’d either give you some cash and say goodbye, or ask you to come back the next day. It was that simple. If you were still around after a few weeks they might talk about putting you on the books.
    That simply doesn’t happen now. Tradesman dig their own trenches. Just too difficult to bother employing anyone.
    Solve this one and you’d be well on the way to solving youth unemployment. If every small business employed just one… etc, etc!

  4. peter mackenzie

    March 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Matt at #8, 9 et al. In my work for young people I see a lot of good ideas.

    This idea should help some young people, so I am not slinging mud.

    But to be honest, the great majority of the young people I support/assist, are not at a point where they would or could utilise this program.

    And I don’t expect the Matchbox Works people expect it will be for all young Tasmanians or anywhere near it.

    What we do know is that there are a number of good programs to help young people, but there are still far too many who have left school but don’t have the skillset to either gain or retain work.
    And often their families also don’t have the skills to assist their children with these issues.

    And we need a lot more fundamental support in place to reduce the disadvantage in these cases.

    If we can do that, then bring in Matchbox Works to the mix, we would have a greater chance of reducing this problem.

  5. Matt

    March 4, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Well said Steve – that is exactly what this program is about.

    It is not about presenting a “pretty” or “slick” or “perfect” resume to try and sneak into an interview.

    One of the major aims is for the participants to better represent their true skills, strengths, and history … so that they can get into a position that fits both them and the employer.

    Like I said in my previous post, don’t put this program under the same umbrella as other courses … come and see for yourself and you will be amazed at how different it is in almost every way.

  6. Steve

    March 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    It’s all very well being able to present yourself well to get the job but actually this is just the beginning.
    Sooner or later you’re actually going to have to perform at the job? Once every potential employee has attended the courses on how to present their perfect resume, there’s still only going to be the same number of persons being engaged.
    As a business owner who has employed many people over the years I can tell you that all the presentation in the world doesn’t compete with a personal recommendation.

  7. Matt

    March 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Upfront Disclosure – I’ve been working with Donovan over the last few weeks and the participants in the Matchbox Pilot.

    If you think this is another “write your resume” course, or a badly imported program from overseas you’d be wrong.

    I’d suggest that you come along to the exhibition by the people who complete the course and ask them how they feel about the program.

    I’ll get Donovan to post when and where the exhibition will be, and you can maybe make a more informed judgement 🙂

  8. matt lyons

    March 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Successful ventures in Switzerland does not mean the idea will catch on in Tasmania with the same fanfare. Let’s face it, we are probably two generations behind in terms of these sorts of cultivated and creative approaches.

    Example.I was a client of Workskills a few years ago, and more recently Max employment agency. I was told that resumes should not be brash or colorful or overly unique in style…because employers found these a turn off. They just wanted the bare facts, for they often have many to go thru.

    Perhaps a creative approach to a resume profile may work a treat in Switzerland, or in local creative industries, but most work seekers are not seeking work in these specialist areas where a heavy self-sell is indeed sought, or warranted.

  9. John Wade

    March 3, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Bonni @ 4

    It appears that the Jobs Provider may be in breach of the government enforced Code of Conduct.

    Complaints can be made and should be made.


  10. Bonni Hall

    March 2, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I can only hope that they do a far better job than the Employment Agency that has my granddaughter on its list! They have been abysmal, actually admitted that they had not sent her resume to anyone, then said that they would get her into a Hospitality training course ( even though she had hospitality experience ) then sent her an email late in the day to say ’email as ASAP as we have you enrolled in an Aged Care course’ and sent so late in the day that the office was closed! So much for ‘out-sourcing’ – another gravy train for people who do nothing but pick up our taxes!!!!

  11. JeanJ

    March 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I was so dazzled by the endless stream of cliches and buzz phrases that any actual meaning in this article escaped me. Seems to be a rebadged “How to write a resume” course?

  12. Leonard Colquhoun

    March 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Re “at the levels of some of the ‘train wreck’ economies in Europe”: if our economy were a car with unemployed / unemployable yoof in the back seat, they’d be whining “Are we at the EeYoo yet?”

    “No, no, NO!! we are NOT there yet.”

    Youth unemployment in the EU: Spain 33%, Greece 26%, Italy & Sweden 25%, Ireland 24% and France 23%, all figures rounded to nearest unit (From Index Mundi). In some regions it is over 50%; Tasmania’s higher % is typical of a regional difference.

    EU lowest: Netherlands 7%, Switzerland 8%, Norway 9%, Austria 10, Germany 11% and Denmark 11%. (Looks to be a bit of the Protestant ethic at work, literally, (but Austria is RC, but perhaps Teutonic RC).

    Note: don’t know how harmonised the varying criteria are. Nor how many out-of-work yoof are hidden in useless get-’em-off-the-streets “education”, which surely was the real reason for the previous Federal government’s going for 40% of yoof at uni by 2020.

    Surely be much better they are in the ADF, the SES, the CFA (or equivalent), or doing stuff with the Salvos (despite recent bad press), rather than being bored shitless with more “Hullo, I’m your professor of Bullshit Studies and I hate Australia”.

  13. Bill

    March 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Donovan, this is a tremendous initiative.

    Well done, and thank you for publicising it.

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