A western suburbs staffing specialist says the biggest problem for job seekers in the Wyndham area is the lack of jobs.

Mary Kampen, of RCT Careers, recruits staff for businesses, produces human resources specifications, teaches job-seekers how to market themselves and guides them in undertaking further training.

Star Weekly last week told the story of Caryn Hearsch, a 59-year-old Hoppers Crossing resident who is unable to find a job. The former medical secretary-personal assistant received her 478th job rejection this month.

Ms Kampen said Ms Hearsch was not alone.

“Quite often, these people have been in the same job for several years and, all of a sudden, they are made redundant and have no clue what to do or how to find work.”

She said the biggest problem in the western suburbs was the lack of jobs and a lack of employment support.

“When I’m completing a recruitment assignment for a client in the western suburbs in an administration, manufacturing or trade role, for example, I receive approximately 200 to 300 applications for each of those jobs.

“It’s quite sad.”

For mature-age job seekers, Ms Kampen had a simple message.

“Don’t give up.

“You are just as important as a younger person and, yes, we need to assist young people, too, but your skills, experience, maturity and knowledge are invaluable.”

Ms Kampen said upskilling was an option and she advised mature-age job seekers to speak to friends, family and professionals for advice.

Lisa Inganni, a 43-year-old Werribee resident, has also been struggling to find work. Ms Inganni moved from the UK in November last year. A former finance officer at a university, she holds a bachelors degree with first class honours … but still can’t get a job.

“I’ve applied for waitressing jobs, government jobs, schools, universities, retail, and even Hungry Jacks.”

She said she was offered very little feedback.

“Why am I not getting a response? “What am I doing wrong? Nobody will tell me,” she said.

Another Star Weekly reader, who preferred not to be named, was made redundant from her job as a marketing manager in Wyndham at the age of 44.

The former Hoppers Crossing resident said she had had a very successful career prior to her redundancy and, before that, had never struggled to find professional employment.

“I applied for more than 300 positions, from marketing to admin, to reception, to retail, to warehousing,” she said. “In total, I secured four interviews.”

Her luck went from bad to worse when her husband, who worked in the auto industry, was told that his position was redundant.

“With a mortgage and mouths to feed, what else do you do?” she asked. “It plays with your mental health, your physical health and your self-confidence.”

In fact, they moved to California where her husband had been offered a job in manufacturing.

A state government spokesman said 13,000 jobs had been created in Melbourne’s west since November 2014.