[Sub ID 4200] Holistic training and workforce skills (John Henry Institute)

Submission ID: 4200
Organisation name: John Henry Institute
Contact name: Mr Roger Bush
State: NSW
Contact email: Roger.Bush@jhi.edu.au

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers, Young parents, Young students at risk of long-term unemployment

What need or issue are you trying to address?
People in the priority areas often feel isolated, excluded from community and are unsure how to access support. They lose belief and are unsure where to start, whilst not knowing what hope there is for their future. They don’t always think positively about their future options or careers and don’t feel they have a choice. Current approaches can help get them moving, if they know about them and can engage. For young carers and parents, transport and care arrangements are a major hurdle as is housing and finance. We have designed a program of support which looks at changing the thinking and providing opportunities for priority groups to assist them to compete in the learning and the workforce through practical skills and experience. We are combining this with facilities and practical strategies which address physical barriers, such as child care and transport. Our strategy builds from our regional experience and other models, both national and international. Our local experience works with school aged kids to get skills and jobs. The region has a high population of young parents especially that we want to target, and unacceptably high unemployment, particularly youth unemployment. We are well suited to trail a full integrated program which would be transferable and operate as a regional centre for people with similar challenges. Our strategy works with each priority group

What is your idea?
A participation program – participants enroll in a program which includes a range of engaging and supportive assessment and learning activities. Students will be better able to gain and retain employment upon completion. Participants will: meet with career counselor, develop a resume, form support groups and undertake LLNP assessments. They will receive training in: WHS; first aid; whitecard; RSA and RCG. They get workplace experience, either real of simulated. They have classes on communication skills, mental health well-being, fitness health and nutrition, financial management and budgeting. They receive psychometric and aptitude testing to assist them in finding their best career path. Participation in counselling and mentoring sessions is mandatory. Students graduate from the program with a career plan and identified pathways, increased skills and confidence, work experience and transition support into work or further study.

Particularly for young parents: A purpose built facility which co locates childcare facilities with educational services. Parents can learn near their children, whilst the children receive professional care.The facility is located near a specialist training facility so students can actually earn full qualifications and be set up for careers i.e. cert II, III and IV in industries such as hospitality, construction, aged and child care services. Transport services and food for the kids would be provided. Parents would have access to a neighboring cafe and be part of a learning community. Opportunities such as medical support and center link staff would be available on certain days.

By working with participants, we can rebuild their confidence, provide them with tools to achieve and assist them to manage their lives and discover a career. We can tutor, mentor and inspire them as well as help young people to manage the logistics of life. We provide the support and tools to help participants to identify their dreams and make their own path. We then walk with them on the early steps so that they have the best chance of succeeding.