equip! young people are out and about gaining experience.

The last month has been a busy one for many of our equip young people.  With the help of their mentors, they have been researching options for next year and working through the steps to understand requirements. For many, motivation is very high to build the skills, knowledge and understanding for employment and an interesting career.

Whilst some young people are returning to school, others are choosing courses at TAFE and Deakin. During November, they may have completed an English assessment, applied for a scholarship, or registered with a Job Provider to assist with the search to work. The systems can be daunting, unfamiliar and complex for both the young people and their families (and mentors!).

Mentors and equip staff become important supporters to help with form filling, interviews and reading formal agreements.  A major aim for Equip is to build participants’ confidence to ask questions until they have a good understanding of requirements.

Volunteering is proving to be an excellent option for young people to develop confidence, build relevant employability skills and gain practical experience in the community.  In a process that is often very similar to applying for work, volunteers must complete an application, meet specific requirements and, often, demonstrate competencies for the position through interview.  Young people can expand their resumes through volunteering and supervisors can become a valuable referee for their work in an Australian context.

“These experiences are helpful for us,” commented Nami. “They show us what it means to do the jobs.”  Nami was one of 9 participants interested in hospitality who helped with set-up, food preparation and serving at the recent Diversitat AGM. She has extensive experience in kitchen work, and valued the opportunity to be front-of-house mixing with people and serving customers directly.

During October and November, young people interested in hospitality have also volunteered in Diversitat café at the Geelong Show. Others have helped with events such as the Rotary Club “Revival’ event on Geelong Foreshore, and Skaart at the Fort, a COGG’s Youth Centre. These public events provide insight into a range of ‘behind-the-scenes’ roles relevant for event management.  They are also an excellent opportunity to practise English and interact with other volunteers and the public.

Rabee has also found equip group mentoring sessions helpful.  “Equip has helped me know the actions to take to work in a team. It is important to understand being with others.”

Congratulations to at least one Equip! young person who has recently been offered employment after completing work experience or a work placement that was part of their studies.   Congratulations also to the many participants proactively building their understanding and employability by engaging in volunteering opportunities in the community.

Equip! young people and mentors will continue to work together through the summer.

If you may be able to help with work experience, summer employment or provide volunteering opportunities, please contact  equip! at the West Geelong office on 5221 6044