A VOLUNTARY internship program breaking down barriers for young indigenous people trying to move off welfare payments and into the workforce has just farewelled its first graduates in Midland.
JobTrain WA youth development officer Scott Harvey said the Federal Government’s Youth Jobs PaTH program started in April and helped participants gain real world experience as they forged a pathway into the workforce.
Mr Harvey said as a result of the program, participants now had a clear vision of their future.
“JobTrain WA has been dealing with young adults with complex barriers for more than 20 years,” he said.
“Tackling being unemployed begins with believing in yourself, understanding that you are deserving, that you have valuable skills and that you can make a valuable contribution to society.
“In the past six weeks, these young adults undertaking our program have gained the skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job.
“They now know to achieve their dreams and believe in themselves.”
Midvale resident Brandon Holmes (20) said after completing the course he had his sights set on being the best boilermaker in WA.
Mr Holmes said he was hoping to secure an internship or apprenticeship in the industry.
“Before this course I never had a clue what I wanted to do,” he said.
“It has given me the confidence that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”
Mr Holmes said the course had offered him a new start and the opportunity of a better life.
“Before I did this course I’d just be lying back at home watching TV and my nieces and nephews,” he said.
“This course has had a big impact on me and without it I’d still be wasting my days.
“It can get really dark out there and it is easy to become isolated.”
Mr Holmes said the course had significant advantages over the services provided by job network providers.
“Job agencies don’t help you figure out what you want to do,” he said.
“This has changed my life and could change the whole community to be more positive and help us young ones in the community believe in ourselves.”
Mr Harvey said the Youth Jobs PaTH program also supported employers to host internship placements and provided them with incentives when they take on a young person.
“Employers can try a young person in an internship for between four and 12 weeks to gain valuable work experience and see how they fit into the team and if they are suitable for ongoing employment,” he said.
“Interns receive $200 per fortnight in addition to the Centrelink benefit to assist them will travel and other expenses.
“Businesses that hire these employees are offered a wage subsidy of up to $10,000.”
Mr Harvey said the Youth Jobs PaTH program in Midland would run a course every six weeks.