With the mining industry continuing to shed jobs and youth unemployment in the Hunter Valley (outside Newcastle) hovering significantly above the state average, school leavers not bound for university face an uncertain future.
It also demonstrates to prospective employers that the students are motivated and willing to learn.
But the Hunter Valley Training Company (HVTC) is running a free “pre-traineeship program” designed to help young people get a foot in the door in youth services, aged care, disability, childcare, business services and retail industries.
The Smart Choice program will run over an 18 week period from November 28.
It’s a mixture of classroom training, research, site visits, vocational skills and knowledge training, and work placement across three to four different vocational areas.
Participants will get hands-on work experience and training with local businesses and HVTC will assist them in finding a full traineeship in their chosen field at the end of the program.
The program is open to anyone who is unemployed, no longer in school, is under 24 years of age and is not currently enrolled in an apprenticeship or traineeship.
HVTC CEO Sharon Smith said the program was an excellent way for young people who were considering a career in corporate and community services to find out what’s involved and if they are suited to such an occupation.
“The training will provide young people in the Hunter Region with some basic skills and industry knowledge which can be a definite advantage when it comes to employers selecting first-year trainees,” she said.
“It also demonstrates to prospective employers that the students are motivated and willing to learn.
“Funding to support such initiatives is never guaranteed and I urge local young people to take full advantage of this opportunity which could be the first step in helping to gain future employment.”
Anyone who is interested in applying for the Smart Choice program can contact HVTC on 1800 247 864.
The Smart Choice program is supported and subsidised by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.