Mum shares struggle of finding job after years out of work
A JOB provides purpose as much as it does an income.
Addressing Queensland's skills shortage has been a significant focus for Annastacia Palaszczuk's Government, in an effort to fill a void while getting more young people into work.
But for those who have spent time out of the workforce to look after their children, it can be difficult finding a way back in.
Mother of four Meg Roach has been a full-time mum for 12 years and has been searching for work for half of that time.
She said she has struggled to find a job she can realistically juggle with her role as a parent.
The Eastern Heights resident previously worked in childcare, retail, cleaning and fast food but said employers were apprehensive to take her on.
"I probably speak for many stay-at-home parents when I say that it's not just a money thing either," she said.
"It's to gain adult interactions, socialisation, to get some sanity and find yourself outside of that mum bubble.
"I can understand where an employer would be coming from, as hiring a mum can potentially be risky.
"We do have families, if they're sick, or if there's a call from school, many times a mother or father would have to try and leave their workplace and go deal with the issue. This could be seen as an unreliability, but it's also the reality.
"Many families don't have a good support network they could fall back on.
"I think there's a lack of understanding, empathy and compassion (for parents returning to the workforce)."
Ms Roach said with the prohibitive cost of childcare and after school care, it didn't stack up financially to put her own children into care and go to work full time.
"Wages usually aren't enough to leave much in your back pocket once you've paid those fees," she said.
"Jobs within school hours are in short supply.
"The youth is cheaper to hire.
"As a parent, it's hard to juggle everything but you can feel so stressed and useless to your family when you cannot contribute financially.
"You want to help but it is ridiculously hard to find something that works."