HOBART, TASMANIA

An innovative training program for young jobs seekers has two young Tasmanians now ready to tackle new challenges in the construction industry.

The Build Up Tassie Community Project is a targeted employment and training program for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.

Delivered by Centacare Evolve Housing in partnership with CatholicCare Tasmania, the program supports young men and women with training and work experience through a volunteer role in the construction industry.

A grant of $2,600 from Highways and Byways helped two youths to complete the program.

The two men were linked to a Build Up Tassie coach. Their task: to design and build a new crib for the Archdiocese of Hobart for its annual Christmas events. For two days a week over six week period, the men worked on new skills, such as reading and understanding plans, planning and preparing for work, and identifying and using power tools.

The completed project was blessed in the Hobart mall and became part of the Archdiocese event “light a candle for Christmas” as well as the Carols on the Hill event. For one of the young men, it proved slightly overwhelming that something he had built was seen by so many people. “It’s quite great that I’m actually doing something like this” he said.

According to project manager Belinda Clarke, the program provided a springboard for both men into new pathways: both into casual employment, and one into further training.

“Both men demonstrated a clear growth in confidence and an increased capacity to pursue new career aspirations” she reported. “They also experienced a sense of pride in being able to pass on the finished crib as a gift for others to enjoy for years to come”.

“I am grateful to have an opportunity to explore where my competencies lie, and I have never worked on anything like the stable before”, one of the participants said.

Highways and Byways funding was used for materials, catering and protective and safety equipment. It also contributed to the salary of the Build Up Tassie coach.