Pilot program proves positive for local job seekers – Cessnock Advertiser

Five Jobfind job seekers graduated with a Certificate II in Horticulture in a pilot program in partnership with Novaskill.

The job seekers completed their studies combined with real life work experience that involved revamping the Hunter Region Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) building.

Graduates with horticulture trainer Mark Smith, Novaskill branch coordinator Kylie Williams and Jobfind’s Rennae Clarke.
Graduates with horticulture trainer, Mark; Novaskill branch coordinator, Kylie; and Jobfind’s Rennae.

Novaskill branch coordinator, Kylie Williams said it’s been very positive and already two other programs have been launched for job seekers gaining a nationally recognised qualification for their ‘Work for the Dole’ activity.

“I’m very proud of these graduates and it’s good for the local community,” she said.

To celebrate the participants’ achievements, Jobfind hosted a graduation ceremony at the Hunter Region BEC last Thursday.

Graduate Steven Crawford said that he would definitely recommend the program and it taught him a lot about horticulture.

The Work for the Dole activity and course were established by Jobfind with the assistance of Novaskill and BEC, in response to skills shortages in the horticulture industry across the Hunter.

The program has facilitated a learning pathway for the participants to gain basic skills and work experience in garden maintenance and general construction, upskilling them to smoothly transition into the workforce.

The Work for the Dole activity, which originally commenced with 12 participants, has led to employment outcomes for five job seekers who were only midway through the course, with others to graduate from their qualifications on Thursday.

In transforming the BEC grounds, the job seekers undertook weeding, soil management, pruning, mulching and planting as well as building a retaining wall and garden beds.

Ms. Williams said Jobfind and Novaskill hope to branch out the new Work for the Dole program.

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