Navigating the Road to New Opportunities
For many Indigenous jobseekers the process of obtaining a driver’s licence can be a daunting experience that often presents a barrier to employment.
To help tackle this issue and create more job opportunities for Indigenous people, a new specialised driver training program has been launched in Bunbury that guides participants through the process of gaining their driver’s licence and securing sustainable employment.
Initiated by the Waalitj Foundation in partnership with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and facilitated by Indigenous mentors, the program aims to motivate, empower and encourage participants to attend their lessons and attain their licence. The program recognises that attaining your licence is expensive and time intensive, requiring a roadworthy vehicle and suitably qualified Supervisors.
VTEC Program Manager, Ben Webb said the number of participants who registered interest in the training has surpassed their expectations.
“Since launching the program late last year, more than 40 participants have shown interest in the program, but initially we were only anticipating 20 people to sign up,” he said.
“This success is the result of intensive mentoring and support offered by the incredible team at Waalitj that helps participants receive the guidance and reassurance they need to overcome the nerves that arise from a driving test.”
Mr Webb said as part of the training process participants also developed self-confidence and job-ready skills needed to succeed in the workforce. From the 17 participants currently enrolled in the course, 3 people have commenced employment, which is an incredible result this early on.
“Being without a driver’s licence is a major barrier to employment, particularly for young Indigenous people, so seeing them break through obstacles that have held them back for so long, is extremely rewarding.
Driver training participant, Nakita Nannup, said the program gave her a new lease on life and the opportunity to gain independence and self-assurance.
“This program is the best opportunity for me to get my licence and achieve my goals to live a bigger, better and stronger life,” she said.
“With the mentors by my side I know I have the support and encouragement needed to not only get my licence but to also secure employment.”
For more information about the Driver Training Program in Bunbury, click here.