Gforce wins contract to help Ballarat’s young job seekers
Gforce has won a four-year federal government contract to help hundreds of youth in the Ballarat region enter the competitive jobs market armed with valuable `work ready’ skills.
Chief executive officer Rob Birch says the Transition to Work initiative is great news for young people including early school leavers as they hunt for employment.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to deliver this program of intensive pre-employment support to more than 250 of the region’s youth a year,’’ Mr Birch says.
“Being `work ready’ is a huge advantage for job seekers. And, in a region where youth unemployment tops 15 per cent, these practical skills can give young job seekers a real edge.’’
The program, which is open to youth and early school leavers between 15 and 21 years, aims to move participants towards work or re-engagement with education.
Gforce will employ an extra three staff as it begins rolling out the program across the region in mid-March. The not-for-profit organisation’s new Youth Employment division will co-ordinate the program at Ballarat, Sebastopol, Wendouree and Maryborough sites and work with local organisations including Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre and local schools.
“This is a program that can make a real difference to youth struggling to find a job,’’ Mr Birch says.
“That’s what Gforce Employment Solutions is all about. We’ve a strong focus on helping young people find work and training and we know that employment and education open doors to a better life.
“Through the Transition to Work program we’ll be able to help hundreds of youth a year tread more confidently towards a brighter future.’’
The contract win, announced yesterday by Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, follows Gforce’s success late last month in winning a similar contract to deliver the program across the Barwon employment region. The Federal Government plans to roll out its new $322 million initiative progressively across Victoria and the nation over the coming months.
Gforce Staffing Solutions and Youth Employment manager Nic Jarvis will oversee the outcome-based program across both regions. The Barwon service launched this week and it will be Ballarat region’s turn on March 14.
Mr Jarvis says Transition to Work participants will leave the program with practical skills in areas including resume preparation, interview techniques, canvassing jobs and understanding employers’ expectations.
“We want these young people to find jobs – and being work ready is just what employers are looking for nowadays,’’ Mr Jarvis says.
“They want staff to hit the ground running. We can help prepare youth to successfully meet that expectation. And we’ll do all we can to transition them into traineeships, apprenticeships, jobs or further education.’’
The federal Department of Human Services and jobactive providers are referral sources for the Transition to Work program. Interested youth can also self register with Gforce if they fit the program’s criteria.
Mr Jarvis says program staff will work closely with Gforce’s Apprentices and Trainees division and draw on the organisation’s strong network in the business community to assist participants.
“I think Ballarat employers will see the strong value in this program too, for their businesses and the region’s youth,’’ Mr Jarvis says.
“There can be financial advantages for businesses who take on Transition to Work participants and I’d urge employers to throw their support behind the initiative.’’
For more information please contact Gforce.