THEY say a mother's work is never done, but some can't get work at all.
It's a story all too familiar for 26-year-old Christine Careless, a young mum who has been unemployed and desperately looking for work for the past 18 months.
The mum of one said she had applied for almost 300 positions, which is more rejection than most could handle.
During this time Christine has been involved with two separate agencies via Job Services Australia (JSA) and Disability Employment Service (DES) however none had succeeded in helping her find a job.
By now you're probably asking what is wrong with Christine?
The answer is nothing.
Christine finished Year 12, has a Certificate III in Financial Services and has worked plenty in the past.
At 18 Christine became a mum. Unfortunately the relationship didn't work and Christine was left to support herself and her now seven-year-old son Micheal.
Due to motherhood, Christine felt she had missed the boat on positions that prefer younger employees.
"I've got the skills but no qualifications," she said.
"I'm told I'm too old for traineeships and junior positions."
Christine has relied on fortnightly Centrelink parenting payments to get by. However her tight budget restricted her ability to up-skill through volunteer work and unusual hours that would require childcare.
When Micheal turns eight next month, Christine will be transferred to Newstart, reducing her payments to roughly $130 a fortnight which will make life a lot tougher.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations was asked why eight was the cut-off age for parenting payments. A department spokesman said the payment was a safety net for parents who would otherwise be at risk of hardship, whereas Newstart was an incentive to seek work.
The spokesman said the challenges parents faced combining employment while raising younger children were considered harder than those with older children.
"Most parents find they can increase their level of employment and reduce their need for income support," the spokesman said.
However Christine felt there was a gap in the system.
"There should be more support to help mums get jobs, there is a real breakdown in the system," she said.
While Christine continues to look for work, she fears slipping through the cracks of a misguided welfare system.
People looking for work can contact Centrelink Employment Services on 13 28 50.