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Solid Foundations for Work

An exciting new program called Solid Foundations is having a ripple effect in the community and making a positive difference to the lives of local people in Albany.

The program is being run at South Regional TAFE in collaboration with Impact Services Pty Ltd, a newly formed Aboriginal owned business operating out of Albany.

Impact Service’s Director Stuart Roberts says the aim of the program is to engage the Aboriginal community in training and employment opportunities, with a focus on the long-term goal of assisting people to gain sustainable employment.

“It is important to provide people wanting to enter the workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful, and to ensure that participants established a ‘solid foundation’ which they could build upon.

Around 18 Aboriginal people are already enrolled and attending the program on a regular basis.

Training Manager Donna Blight was pleased with how the program has progressed and overwhelmed with the positive response from the community.

“It’s a pre-employment program designed to prepare the participants for the workforce with Impact Services supporting them to gain long-term employment,” she said.

The program has consisted of a range of activities including assisting people with self-development planning, researching the local job market, information on work/life balance and providing opportunities for participants to speak with the employers directly during workplace visits.

The program also looks at strategies for breaking down barriers to employment such as cultural differences, cross-cultural communication skills and transport issues.

“The group undertakes tours of workplaces to enable participants to see what opportunities are available and learn about the employer’s expectations,” Ms Blight said.

“Wherever possible we have included Aboriginal representatives from industry.

“An integral part of the success of the program has been the specialised mentoring support provided by Impact Services staff Dan Pinner and Kim Bolt, which was also built into the program.

“The group has been enthusiastic and motivated. They’ve really embraced the process and are wanting to find out more.

“The program has been so well received by the participants that they have requested for the program to be extended and we are looking into this,” Ms Blight said

Some students have already been invited to apply for a traineeship and other employment opportunities within the community.

Solid Foundations student Lynette Bolton said it’s been exciting to learn about the opportunities out there.

“There are three generations in this class. It’s been great to assist in educating the younger generations as a mentor,” she said.

“We’ve been to Kmart and Mount Romance, City of Albany, Fletcher International and the Albany Health Campus.

“I’ve also got a lot of satisfaction seeing the younger generations committing to great opportunities.”

The four-week program, running two and half days per week, will now be extended and another program is also being planned.

Pic: Students in the Solid Foundations program visit Mt Romance. 

Page last updated October 01, 2019