UWA students from cross-disciplines tackle high unemployment in Mirrabooka

UWA Barriers to Employment project group members L-R: Amanda Lee, Albert Xie, Ellen Allen and Esther Kim. 20 UWA students are working with the City of Stirling and other government, not-for-profit and business organisations in the Mirrabooka region to come up with solutions for high unemployment in the area. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d490610
UWA Barriers to Employment project group members L-R: Amanda Lee, Albert Xie, Ellen Allen and Esther Kim. 20 UWA students are working with the City of Stirling and other government, not-for-profit and business organisations in the Mirrabooka region to come up with solutions for high unemployment in the area. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d490610

STUDENTS from cross-faculties at the University of Western Australia will provide options on how to break employment barriers in Mirrabooka at an upcoming presentation night.

About 20 students enrolled in UWA’s Wicked Problems summer unit formed groups to work on different projects in a bid to increase employment in Mirrabooka.

This is part of a three-year partnership with the City of Stirling.

According to 2016 Census data, 14.1 per cent of Mirrabooka residents were unemployed.

The Mirrabooka unemployment project group 2 interviewed City staff and surveyed residents for several weeks to compile an options paper which will be presented alongside other group works at a presentation at Herb Graham Recreation Centre on February 15.

Member Amanda Lee said the group focused on what could be implemented in the City to tackle high unemployment.

“We have done a lot of surveys in these past two weeks and we actually talked to them (community members) and ask them questions like what they think their challenges are,” she said.

“Most of the barriers they have are not made by them…some of them for example are language barriers and experience barriers.

“It is more like what we can do to help them do better in those aspects.”

Fellow member Esther Kim said the group looked at alleviating barriers to employment.

Academic coordinator Chantal Bourgault Du Coudray said this year’s students were studying to become engineers, urban planners, policy analysts, psychologists and business analysts.

“Working across disciplinary differences is interesting and fun, as long as it is structured in a way that supports students to work constructively together,” she said.

“The unit is designed to get students working collaboratively on a real-world wicked problem – and in a way that supports the objective of our stakeholder partners, which is to increase employability amongst Mirrabooka residents.”