Gforce wins contract to help the Barwon’s young job seekers
Geelong-based Gforce will help hundreds of jobless youth take a confident step towards employment after winning a four-year federal government contract to deliver `work ready’ skills across the Barwon region.
Chief executive officer Rob Birch says the Transition to Work program is an exciting opportunity for young people including early school leavers in a region where youth unemployment tops 19% per cent in some areas within our region.
“We’ll be able to assist more than 300 young job seekers a year to develop valuable work-ready skills and find employment’’ Mr Birch says.
“Through this program participants receive practical skills through intensive, pre-employment support. Our organisation is primarily set up to assist youth and this initiative is a great step in reducing that jobless rate and helping young people to a more positive future. You just can’t underestimate the power of a having a job. Getting work, training or further education can be life changing and open doors. That’s what this program’s about and we’re excited to be part of it.’’
The Federal Government late last week announced 11 successful organisations including Gforce to deliver the first round of the national program in seven high-need employment regions across Australia. While Gforce Employment Solutions is Victoria’s sole provider so far, the government will unveil more successful tenderers over coming weeks to deliver the $322 million initiative in all regions across the state and nation.
The program, open to young people and early school leavers aged between 15 and 21 years, aims to move participants towards work or re-engagement with education. Gforce’s new Youth Employment division will co-ordinate the program out of the not-for-profit organisation’s central Geelong and Norlane offices. The Gordon TAFE will be a key training provider.
Gforce Staffing Solutions and Marketing manager Nic Jarvis will oversee the Transition to Work service across the Barwon education region.
Mr Jarvis says the outcome-based program will provide intensive, pre-employment support to improve participants’ work readiness in areas including interview skills, resume preparation, canvassing jobs, understanding employers’ expectations and how to present themselves well to potential employers. It will also provide career advice.
“We want these youth to transition into traineeships, apprenticeships, jobs or education,’’ Mr Jarvis says.
“This is a practical approach. It’s making these young people – and there’s a lot of valuable talent out there – work ready and then helping them find a job. That’s what we’re all about.’’
While the federal Department of Human Services and jobactive providers are referral sources, interested youth will be able to self register with Gforce if they fit the program criteria.
Gforce expects to employ three new staff to help run the program. Staff will work closely with the organisation’s Apprentices and Trainees division and Norlane-based organisation Northern Futures.
“We’re already the biggest employer of apprentices and trainees in Barwon region – we’ve got more than 360 currently – and we’ll be able to leverage our extensive business network to assist these young people to employment or training leading to employment,’’ Mr Jarvis says.
“I’d urge employers to support the program. We already work with many employers and there can be financial advantages for businesses who take on Transition to Work participants. We need them on board.’’