Living and studying in Burnie, a beautiful port city on the north-west coast of Tasmania, 21 year old Dan McClelland was keen to pursue a career in information technology but opportunities were limited. With a bit of luck, some persistence and support through the Commonwealth Scholarships Program, Dan’s goal is now being realised.
The Commonwealth Scholarships Program is an Australian Government initiative to support young people (aged 15-24) in designated regional areas with funding to undertake study and internship opportunities in their career path. Also eligible are ex Australian Defence Force personnel (of any age) who have exited within the last two years. The program offers up to $13,000 in funding with $5,000 per year contributing to study costs and $3,000 in a paid internship with a business in the industry.
Supporting Dan with his studies, a Certificate III in Business majoring in Information Technology (I.T), the next step was finding him an internship placement with an I.T firm. With only one shopfront business in Burnie, Island I.T, his options were limited but when his Regional Sponsorship Coordinator, Natalie Campbell from BUSY At Work approached the business, they were happy to be involved. With no cost to the business and an extra pair of hands to help, it was a win for them as well as Dan.
When the four-week internship period with the business ended well, Dan kept popping in to say hello and remind them he was keen to be involved with the business. This persistence paid off when the business offered him part-time work at first and then a more permanent position was recently offered.
“Natalie, my Commonwealth Scholarships advisor was really helpful. She made the whole process straightforward and helped with any issues I may have been having. I’m really enjoying working for Island I.T, every day is different and we help a lot of the local businesses in Burnie, even Telstra recommends us to customers. Thanks to the Commonwealth Scholarships program I am now pursuing my career and I will be going to TAFE later this year to get further qualifications”, Dan said of the program.
“I would definitely recommend this program to others, it’s been a great experience and great support”, he further stated.
His Commonwealth Scholarships Coordinator, Natalie stated “As a local girl to the community for 40 yrs now, I know how hard employment is to find, especially after COVID . Dan probably would not have walked in off the street in hopes of employment to this business and this shows the difference our scholarship program is making in the community, the opportunity of this internship is just the push Dan needed. I’m so proud to help these young people to make a difference in their lives and this is one of the many stories I have heard across our program where the outcomes are making a positive impact on young peoples’ futures”.
If you are a young person (15-24) or an ex-ADF personnel member and living in eligible regional areas in Australia, Round 3 of the Commonwealth Scholarships Program is currently open for applications. Eligibility criteria applies.
For more information on the Commonwealth Scholarships Program and to check your eligibility or to apply, visit https://www.busyatwork.com.au/scholarships-program-for-young-australians/
Dan Mclelland (R), pictured with Declan Gray (Owner of Island IT), is now working and studying a Certificate III in Business, majoring in IT, thanks to the Commonwealth Scholarships Program.
Michelle Ryan, BUSY At Work
0407 169 029 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgCom