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Pilot Project Boosts Remote Employment

The Waalitj Foundation’s Community Development Program (CDP) recently launched a pilot project delivering remote-based training and education to young people in regional areas who are interested in trade-based careers.

Try a Trade, a collaborative effort between the Foundation and Central Regional TAFE in Kalgoorlie, was rolled out within the Leonora community (Yaaliku region) in November last year.

Eight CDP participants voluntarily took part in this hands-on interactive approach to trades-based learning, with a mix of theory and practical components. At the end of the week, the participants completed all units of training including operating small plant and equipment and preparing to work safely in the construction industry.

They also achieved an attendance rate of more than 90 per cent and received a Nationally Recognised Statement of Attainment, igniting their spark for future careers in trades.

Feedback received by these participants about the training was positive and included, “it was brilliant”, “totally engaging”, “sensational” and “Andy is a fantastic lecturer, you can see he is passionate about giving students a chance”.

Before the training started, close consultation sessions were held with the Leonora District High School, Leonora Youth Centre participants and local community members. This resulted in the setup of two main workshop environments, to engage both young students and post-school-age cohorts, ensuring maximum exposure within the Leonora community.

Planning is also underway to further expand the project to other parts of Goldfields-Esperance region. From April, key learning areas will include forklift training, chainsaw operations, heavy machinery workshops, horticulture/on-country, mechanics, technology, design and drone-based projects.

With an evident gap in accessibility to remote-based learning, this innovative community-based approach seeks to engage more participants in other regional areas, with short courses offered throughout 2022 and 2023.

The program is also preparing to enter the new Remote Jobs Program model and collaboration is underway through the Waalitj Hub with the support of the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

For more information about the Community Development Program click here.

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