All our students struggle to survive on limited welfare payments. Almost all want paid employment, not only to support their families, but to provide independence and to boost their self-esteem.
Obtaining a first job is difficult for Australian born women. It is particularly difficult when you are a new arrival. On completing one of our educational Programs, our students command the English and numeracy skills necessary for paid employment, but they lack the confidence, contacts and cultural familiarity to secure their first job.
Work readiness training is essential to overcome these obstacles to employment. However, our students are unable to afford the professional training available.
To meet the demand, in February 2016 we piloted a new two-week Work Readiness Program for a group of 8 of our students – thanks to funding from Minter Ellison.
The course was delivered in partnership with Service Stars at our Centre. Service Stars is run by Jane Farrell, who specialises in helping new arrivals. Her union background and depth of real life experience have given her excellent understanding of the skills needed and valuable connections in service industries. She knows which companies support new arrivals and which offer good working conditions.
The course developed each participant’s job readiness and employability skills. The course included a focus on job skills, job search, and self (and supported) planning.
Participants discussed basic job readiness / industry practices to prepare them for their first job. Learning about communication protocols, teamwork and cultural differences featured throughout the training. Other key issues for learning included Rights / Responsibilities at work , Occupational Health and Safety and Harassment / Discrimination.
The course also worked through individual career / work aspirations and the steps needed to obtain full time work. Student presentations, role plays and daily learning reviews were also important elements.
On completing the program, paid work placements were promptly secured for two participants and are being pursued for the others. On-going proactive mentoring is being provided to help optimise the chance of success of paid work placements.
Due to the pilot program’s success and demand for it by most of our students, we are now seeking funding to establish a professional work readiness program as another feature RNLC program. If you can help, please contact RNLC Director Lisa Wilson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org