What is the service?
St Vincent de Paul’s LEAP Program (Learning Education and Pathways) delivers Foundation Skills training in language literacy and numeracy to marginalised or excluded people. Operating since 2010, this program is funded by the Department of State Development (DSD). In essence, the program draws on a trainee’s strengths, recognising needs and includes person-centred planning embracing an ‘all of life’ perspective. The LEAP Program contains two developmental stages; Learning for Tomorrow, and Vocational Pathways.
Learning for tomorrow
The first stage of Vinnies ‘helping hand up’ approach is to re-engage long-term unemployed experiencing multiple barriers to employment. Participants in this stage can often suffer from ineffective communication experiences, poor negotiating skills, limited mutual understanding ability, low self-esteem and poor self-image as learners and achievers. These people are at a high risk of experiencing deep or multiple forms of social exclusion and disadvantage because of low level foundation skills. Consequently the focus of the learning is around individually tailored language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN) skills including tailored digital engagement for personal enrichment, employment opportunities, community participation and reading, writing and language skills for further education.
The second stage in the program assists participants to engage in group activities/ peer education/ buddying/ and shadowing activities. These interactions with others can reawaken a person’s potential and self-worth. Moreover, participants can choose the most relevant pathway to assist their individual needs as well as address their social needs via undertaking individually tailored language, literacy, and numeracy (LLN) skills. Such meaningful learning experiences can extend the participant’s skill base, independence and self-confidence whilst engaging with their community networks and can ultimately lead to employment and pathways out of vulnerability.
Who can access this service?
Individuals with a history of language, literacy and numeracy difficulties, barriers to employment or who have been long-term unemployed, are able to access the LEAP program by volunteering at approved Vinnies retail sites or at the Migrant Refugee Centre.
Where is the service located?
The service is located at approved St Vincent de Paul Society branches, such as the Migrant and Refugee Centre, or Family Centres (shops) primarily located at Campbelltown, Kidman Park and Elizabeth.
Running the training at a Vinnies retail site or the Migrant Refugee Centre means that it is much easier for volunteers to attend, as many of the learners cannot normally attend a scheduled course at a formal training location such as TAFE.
Who benefits from LEAP?
Those who are socially excluded or at risk of vulnerability benefit from the LEAP program in multiple ways, such as improving their employability, social skills or self-confidence and self-esteem in a public work environment.
Training is free, requiring only an effort in volunteering at a Vinnies placement location.
Can I volunteer for this service?
Suitable candidates are generally understood to have basic skills or attributes relevant to the program, and a desire to improve their work prospects. Contact Vinnies as below for more information on eligibility for the program.
How can I find out more about?
You can find more information by contacting
Bruce Kuhne, MSW, BSW , BA, TAA40104.
LEAP Workplace Training & Project Officer (Mon-Thurs)
St Vincent de Paul Society (SA) Inc
Ozanam House | 202 Franklin St, ADELAIDE SA 5000
P 08 8112 8708 | F 08 8112 8798 | M 0448 330 292