Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Finding a Job in the '50S and '60S; Young People Flock to the Cities with Little Trouble Finding Work or Places to Study

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Finding a Job in the '50S and '60S; Young People Flock to the Cities with Little Trouble Finding Work or Places to Study

Article excerpt

WHENEVER there is an item of news about people having difficulties finding work, especially young people, one is reminded of other times when jobs seemed to be there just for the taking.

For some years following World War II there was a great demand for labour. As well, there were also plenty of opportunities for study whether at TAFE or university. There was great encouragement from most employers for their staff to improve themselves and to gain higher qualifications and experience. There were scholarships, cadetships, and apprenticeships available, and there were plenty of government department jobs.

Many young people flocked to the cities looking for work including one young lady who left the Richmond River in the late 1950s and found no trouble in obtaining work in Sydney. She had never been to the city before but had taught herself to type through the International Correspondence School and so had great confidence in her abilities. She found board and lodging with a family friend and set about trying to find a job by "phoning and asking". After a few failures a nice male voice answered her enquiry. She was as surprised as he was when it became clear what she wanted. She had a crossed line or had keyed in a wrong digit. She had already told him what she wanted by the time he realised the mistake. However, he said he actually did have a job available. He had a small importing business and his office was in Challis House, Martin Place. His name was Mr Crook.

Obviously her family friend-cum-landlady, feeling some kind of responsibility, tried to dissuade her from going to see him. She was now in the big city, there were nasty men around. Not deterred the girl went to see Mr Crook and found him just as pleasant as his voice. He shared an office with his sister, Miss Ida Crook, who was a public typist, semi-retired. …

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