Creating Futures for Youth: Supporting young jobseekers like Aaron, Taylor and Ashley into work
13 December 2017
Meet Taylor, Ashley and Aaron: three highly motivated young jobseekers who have attained employment and grown so much with support from Creating Futures for Youth. The Brotherhood of St Laurence runs this program at our High St Centre in Frankston, with funding from the Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global bank, Citi.
Creating Futures for Youth assists young people aged 15 to 24 in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, in the south-east of Melbourne, who are not currently studying or working. The transformative program offers individualised career planning, workshops that focus on practical training, work experience, volunteering opportunities and, importantly, ongoing support after graduating program for six months or more.
The program has also helped the Brotherhood frame its broader response to the challenge of youth unemployment in the community, and runs concurrently and complements the federally funded Transition to Work program at the Frankston site.
Aaron, Taylor and Ashley were each assigned a youth development coach when they joined Creating Futures, and all agree that the tailored approach has been critical to their success; the coaches have worked with them to identify long term goals, develop a plan to work toward achieving them and have stayed the course to support them to overcome hurdles encountered along the way.
Ashley loves his job as an apprentice baker with a major retail bakery chain. It’s not a career he would have considered before taking part in Creating Futures. When he first came to the program he wasn’t sure which career direction to pursue, so his youth development coach encouraged him to be open to a range of fields and opportunities. He took part in workplace tours and work experience, and developed his work experience with short term roles presented to him, including a job at a pickle factory.
During work experience at a casino, he discovered a passion for customer service, so was keen to accept the opportunity to take on the retail baking apprenticeship when it came his way.
‘A lot of people don’t like the idea of getting up at two in the morning to go to work. But I actually love it. I enjoy working with my team and with the customers. And when I finish work around midday, I’ve got the whole day to do what I want. It’s fantastic,’ Ashley says.
Aaron, 20, says he could not have imagined what he has achieved since he first joined the program. After year 12 he had struggled to find work, applying for jobs, but never hearing back. Not long after joining Creating Futures he was placed in a business internship with a local company, where he built up his administration skills, so his youth development coach saw him as an ideal candidate for an opportunity with our new David Scott School. In May, he began a one year business administration traineeship.
‘The role has really stretched me. I’m surprised to discover what I can do,’ says Aaron.
A talent in design has seen him take the lead in designing a logo and other branded materials to promote the school. ‘Everyone is so encouraging, suggesting I take on different projects. To do the branding, I found some tools and software to create logos and taught myself how to use them.’
The traineeship entails undertaking a Certificate III in Business Administration, and there’s scope to do another certificate course during the year. Aaron is considering doing a community services course, in line with his long term goal to work in the justice sector.
‘I think it’s possible if I really work hard for it, and I’m determined to work hard for it. So I think it will happen.’
‘Creating Futures has allowed me to get into the workforce and get started on making a life for myself.’
Taylor has taken advantage of a range of opportunities since she joined the program, and gained a wide range of skills from administration to manufacturing. Her current role in the steel manufacturing sector is very hands on, operating machinery such as forklifts. She believes she has risen to each new challenge because her confidence has grown so much since she joined the program.
‘Confidence is really important in job interviews and being able to put yourself out there. Building up my skills and confidence has definitely helped me, not just in getting a job, it’s helped me to mature as a person,’ Taylor says.