With the shared mission to help young people in Australia gain employment, it’s no surprise that the relationship between SkillsPlus and Skilling Australia Foundation is delivering positive results for both of the not-for-profit organisations and the young people they support.
After finishing school at the end of 2017, Micah Taylor was receiving youth allowance, so she went to SkillsPlus for help to find a job.
Part of the Government’s Transition to Work initiative, SkillsPlus runs a diverse range of services, offering 15-21 year olds a pathway from education into employment.
SkillsPlus clients meet weekly with their youth coach, who supports them to find a job, through working on their resume and interview techniques, teaching job-ready skills and helping them with job applications.
Run by Skilling Australia Foundation, the APpeTite program provides participants with similar job-ready skills. Over eight days, participants also hear from guest speakers, do mock interviews, learn barista skills, do team-building and communication activities, go on an industry tour and undertake a week’s work experience. The goal of the program is for participants to get placed into employment through an apprenticeship or traineeship.
In mid-2018, SkillsPlus linked up with Skilling Australia Foundation and began offering their clients the opportunity to participate in the APpeTite program.
Angela Pecora is Micah’s youth coach. While 18-year-old Micah found some casual work in hospitality, she continued attending SkillsPlus to further develop her skills and make the most of the support she was receiving.
“I didn’t want to be a waitress for the rest of my life. I wanted to get a career and have something under my belt,” Micah says.
She was told about the APpeTite program, and heard it would help to set her up for a career, so she jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s helped me big time,” Micah says. “Over the eight days, our mentor Simon helped us with our confidence and being able to improve our abilities and skills, and being able to work in a team.”
She says the guest speakers and mentors inspired her to improve her attitude and show she was eager to start a career.
“There were times with my attitude where I wouldn’t be too determined to find a career and be lazy sometimes, but it [the program] really pushed me to be able to challenge myself and gain a career,” Micah says.
After eight days of the program, Micah had an interview with VicSuper. Her driven attitude and enthusiasm impressed the employers and she was offered a Business Traineeship at VicSuper through WPC Group.
Since starting on September 3, she has been thriving in her role, and is excited about where her career may take her.
“After the traineeship, I will hopefully have the abilities and experience to be able to confidently work by myself…I want to be a team leader and hopefully later on be able to have my own business – I’m not sure what yet, but out of the traineeship I know for sure I will have the skills and experience that I will be able to use for business,” Micah says.
Micah is one of 15 young people who came from SkillsPlus and graduated the APpeTite program. So far, seven others have also gained employment.
Angela says she has received “fantastic feedback” about the program from everyone who has attended, saying the program helped with their confidence and further encouraged them to find work.
“We can struggle to get young people in for a two hour session for job club, but there was something about the APpeTite program, that almost all of the clients we referred attended all eight days.
“With our programs, the kids don’t interact much with each other but with the APpeTite program, they all got to know each other as a group – I thought it was absolutely fantastic,” Angela says.