Giving Young People a Kickstart

Thursday 27 May 2021

In the current pandemic climate where the number of people seeking work outweighs available jobs, young people can be at a disadvantage due to a lack of experience.

Last November, Anglicare released its most recent Jobs Availability Snapshot which found for each entry-level job in Australia there are 106 jobseekers.

To help prepare young people with the skills they need to enter the workforce, the Vinnies team in Deniliquin has developed the Kickstart program.

Conceived in response to youth in the area struggling with the basics of being job ready, the 12-week program has expanded from putting together resumes thanks to funding made available by the NSW Government.

“This year we’re doing RSA, white card, first aid, food handling, barista training, professional driving lessons,” said Chantall Barnes, Vinnies Project Worker.

“Additionally, we’re spending time with local contacts here [in Deniliquin] regarding professional job interview techniques as well as presentation, so how they need to be dressed adequately, how they actually approach businesses – that kind of thing.

“We’re also having a guest speaker come in and present a mental health first aid course.”

Servicing Deniliquin and surrounding areas such as Womboota and Tooleybuc, the program aims to empower young people with confidence and resilience so that they can thrive in the workforce.

“The core around this program is always going to be valuable; it’s giving so many kids an opportunity to potentially be working, studying and gaining essential skills.”

Previous success stories include six high school students gaining casual or part-time work and an 18-year-old Indigenous participant securing his first full-time employment and provisional driver’s licence.

So far, 23 people have participated in the program this year, while a second round of the program is set to commence in July.