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Indigenous Senior Schooling Retention Program underway

Indigenous Senior Schooling Retention Program underway

School-based trainee Shanoa Hughes (front) pictured with FCE Bookkeeping and Accounting Services supervisor and business owner Florinda Empeno (back)

BUSY At Work is running an Indigenous Senior Schooling Retention Program which will see 44 Indigenous students take up traineeships in various industries whilst being mentored to help them achieve their goal of attaining a Year 12 certificate.

BUSY At Work Program Manager, Pauline Grant-Smith said the program funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, Children and Schoolings Program was about keeping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students engaged in Years 10, 11 and 12. BUSY At Work is being funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy to deliver the mentoring during the program.

The Indigenous Advancement Strategy is a commitment by the Australian Government to achieving better results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in three priority areas – getting children to school, adults into work and building safe communities.

“The program will run for a two year period and we currently have 17 students engaged in traineeships. We also have many more employers ready to support the program and student recruitment will begin again in early 2016 for a July sign up of the remaining places,” Ms Grant-Smith said.

To date students have been placed with Alita Dental, Springwood, FCE Bookkeeping and Accounting Services, Logan, Motor Traders Association, Eight Miles Plains, Lions Club, Springwood, City Beach, Helensvale, Broadbeach and Logan Stores, C & K (various Brisbane north side locations), TLC Childcare, Keperra, Rydges, Southbank and The Australian Catholic University, Banyo.

Ms Grant-Smith said all students applying for a traineeship would complete the Harrison Online Career Assessment tool which identifies how suited the students are to their chosen traineeship and how well they will adapt to that occupation.

“The Harrison Online Career Assessment tool is a great way to pre-screen the students and it also ensures that employers can engage a trainee that is most suited to that occupation and that they will enjoy the role,” Ms Grant-Smith added.

One such trainee who is enjoying her role at FCE Bookkeeping and Accounting Services is Shanoa Hughes. Shanoa said she was extremely happy to be a part of the Indigenous school-based traineeship program.

“It has been such a delight to secure this traineeship in accounting because I am always learning something new. The program has offered me great support not only with my traineeship but also with my school work. Having the opportunity to learn new skills and gain a Certificate III in Business Administration at the end of the eighteen month program is just amazing and I am sincerely grateful to be given this opportunity,” Ms Hughes said.

FCE Bookkeeping and Accounting Services supervisor and business owner, Florinda Empeno said she was extremely happy to be a part of the Indigenous School-Based Traineeship Program.

“I had been looking for some time to secure a trainee for my business and when Robyn Donnelly from BUSY At Work contacted me to ask if I would be a part of the program, I jumped at the chance.”

“I am extremely excited to be able to give a young Indigenous person an opportunity to learn new skills and gain a Certificate III in Business Administration. Shanoa enjoys the challenge of learning new things and has been performing really well in her traineeship,” Ms Empeno said.

Ms Empeno said she was really appreciative of the support she had received from BUSY At Work.

“BUSY At Work has spent a lot of time ensuring that we have the right trainee who fits our business. The Cultural Awareness Training provided by BUSY has also been excellent. By allowing us to gain a greater understanding of Indigenous culture we have been able to enhance the experience for Shanoa,” Ms Empeno added.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY was pleased to be running the Indigenous Senior Schooling Retention Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“Getting children to school, improving education outcomes and supporting families to give their children the best start in life will achieve real results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will lead to a better future for themselves, their family and the community,” Mr Miles said.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator 0438 173 960 leanne.macnamara@busyatwork.com.au

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