Four bright sparks – young Australians who have overcome unemployment – have been awarded a $3,000 Citi Scholarship.
The award recognises their success in taking part in a job-readiness program, the Citi New Recruits Program, and finding meaningful work – a traineeship or apprenticeship – to gain traction in new careers. With almost one in eight young people unemployed (or 11.9% of the population), that’s almost double the general rate for Australians. In some areas where young people are experiencing disadvantage the rate is higher – one in five.
This year’s Citi Scholarship winners are:
Megan Chetcuti, 18, of Luddenham. She’s a first-year truck mechanic at truck dealership in Sydney. She had a threadbare resume and no career plans when she finished her HSC last year, but the Citi New Recruits pre-employment program helped her gain traction in a trucking career. Megan is putting the funds towards further training and getting a top-notch mechanics tool kit because she’ll need to have her own next year.
Another truck mechanic, second-year apprentice Michael Armstrong, 18, of Ingleburn, Sydney, will also put his winnings towards a tool kit and gaining further education in his chosen field. He left school in Year 10 and had been looking for an automotive apprenticeship and now has one at a dealership in Fairfield. He really impressed his supervisor with his dedication to work and balance family commitments with three sisters and a brother he helps look after with his dad.
Former dancing teacher and waitress, Amelia, 20, has kitted up for a different career – as a natural resources management trainee for Melbourne Water. She won the scholarship for being “extremely engaged, picking up things quickly and her communication and eye for detail is a big asset to the team”, according to her Team Leader. She started her traineeship straight off the back of completing the Citi New Recruits Program. Amelia is excited to use her scholarship funds to explore her chosen field at an interstate workplace.
You won’t find many 16-year-olds at an automotive service centre in Victoria. That’s why Ethan Harris is a standout as a first year light vehicle mechanic apprentice. He finished Year 10 last year at school then was unemployed – the “most challenging six months of my life” – getting no call backs from would-be employers. That was until he was accepted into the Citi New Recruits program and helped him get that apprenticeship. Ethan will also invest his scholarship funds into training and work tools.
The Citi Foundation funds the Citi New Recruits job-readiness program while the Skilling Australia Foundation runs it. The program supports young people experiencing disadvantage to develop work-read skills, gain on-the-job experience and secure employment. Over the past six years, the Citi New Recruits program has supported more than 2,000 across New South Wales and Victoria. Many have transitioned into further training and/or work in a diverse range of industries of their choice.