Work ready

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla’s Tomorrow Today Foundation recently ran a successful five-week work-readiness training program for 12 enthusiastic local young people who are now keen to secure after-school jobs.

The paid part-time work program assists years 9 and 10 students to learn about employer expectations, tasks given to part-time workers, work safety issues, employee rights and responsibilities and the importance of a positive attitude when searching for work.

Local business people volunteer their time to assist in the delivery of the program.

They provide information to students about what will be expected of them at work, what their day-to-day tasks might be and what skills they may need.

The employers tell the young people about their own career journeys describing the many pathways that have led to their present positions.

A highlight of the program is the mock interviews where participants are interviewed by representatives from the business community.

While the experience can be nerve-wracking, especially for those who have never done an interview before, it proves to be the most popular and valuable aspect of the program, with all students giving the experience a top score in their evaluations.

Research has shown Australian students who had paid part-time work while at school developed skills that made them more likely to be employed when they finished school.

A major emphasis of the project is to encourage the young people to continue their school studies and to plan their future directions.

Since inception, more than 60 young people from Benalla have undertaken this training with the majority of former graduates gaining part-time jobs, or school-based traineeships, while completing their secondary education.

●For more information about the program, phone the Tomorrow Today Foundation on 57621211.