Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Part-time work program keeping kids in school

Applications are open for a Benalla-based employment program aimed to help students find part-time work while continuing school.

TONI BRIENT May 8, 2014 3:17am

Applications are now open for the third round of a Benalla-based employment program which has resulted in 15 teens finding part-time or full-time work in the region.

The program is hosted by NE Tracks Local Learning and Employment Network with support from Benalla Rural City, the Tomorrow:Today Foundation, Benalla P-12 College, FCJ College and The Centre adult education facility.

Project officer Louise Wright said the program aimed to teach students how to approach employers, how to apply for jobs, and how to act in the workplace.

Participants in the program attend after-school workshops aimed at preparing them to find part-time work while continuing their studies.

Past participants have also secured school-based traineeships and apprenticeships and full-time work.

Mrs Wright said the program had made a big impact on participants.

‘‘A lot of the young people in our target group have never even met an employer,’’ she said.

‘‘Many of them don’t have connectors (to get them into jobs) — they don’t have a mum, dad, aunty, uncle who knows an employer.

‘‘Many part-time jobs go on word of mouth in country towns ... and these young people don’t have those connections.’’

Zac Clissold-Hodge began the program when he was in Year 9 at Benalla P-12 College. Zac was eager to leave school, and during the project it was decided that a school-based traineeship would be appropriate to keep him in school but give him the opportunity to learn hands-on in the outdoors.

After discussions with Benalla Rural City, Zac was given a traineeship in horticulture and is now succeeding in his second year in the role.

In the next round of the program, which begins in August, participants will also be taught about online applications.

‘‘All the big organisations like Coles, Woolworths and McDonald’s all have online applications now,’’ Mrs Wright said.

‘‘So we want to help kids to maximise their chances of getting hired.’’The next round of the five-week program begins on Tuesday, August 12.

Classes are held on Tuesdays from 4pm to 7.30pm at the NE Tracks LLEN training room.

The program is free, but limited to 16 participants.

Applications close July 22.

For more information, phone 57627777.

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