An AMWU co-ordinated program designed to secure training and apprentices for young people ‘at risk’ has successfully placed 17 students in the last 12 months.
The program, coordinated by Rosemary Condon out of the Victorian office of the AMWU, assists troubled youth in getting apprenticeships in the automotive and building and construction industries.
Ms Condon, who is experienced in helping marginalised young people get access to training, said while it was a battle getting young people placed, the success of the program was encouraging.
“I deal with people who are homeless, people with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, disabled young people, refugees from war torn countries – people who often lack basic survival and life skills.”
AMWU National President Julius Roe who also chairs the Victorian Trades Hall Council Vocational, Employment Training (VET) Committee said Ms Condon has good connections with the job agencies and is able to get young people to first base.
“The target of the program is to get 15 young people into a position and keep them there for 16 weeks.
“These young people need a lot of help and mentoring which Rosemary is able to give them.
“Most of the 17 successfully placed people have exceeded their 16 weeks and are still going.”
Ms Condon works closely with Kangan Batman TAFE and Holmesglen TAFE, institutions which deliver Youth Employment Programs.
She says that once they complete their 16 weeks and they decide they would like to do an apprenticeship in their chosen field, she matches them with an employer who is willing to give them a go.
Sixteen-year-old Aaron Pollard has commenced a bricklaying apprenticeship as a result of participating in this program.
“I was able to get a look at the different trades and I decided on bricklaying in the end and Rosemary helped me get an apprenticeship.
“I’d recommend this program for anyone who thinks school is not for them or is looking for good employment prospects. It taught me a lot.”