Established not-for-profit organisation BUSY At Work has broken new ground by becoming the Work for the Dole (WFD) coordinators in Mackay from 1 May this year.
BUSY At Work have almost 40 years of experience as leading providers of apprenticeship services, job services, Indigenous employment, school-based programs, mature aged worker programs and disability employment across Australia with offices throughout Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
The WFD program is an initiative of the Australian Government, administered and funded by the Department of Employment.
The WFD program places job seekers in activities where they can gain work skills which can help them find a job. It also provides job seekers with experience allowing them to give back to the communities in which they live.
BUSY At Work, WFD Coordinator in Mackay, Kristy Gostelow said BUSY was now keen to work with potential host organisations including not-for-profit organisations and local, state and Commonwealth Government agencies.
“We want to encourage eligible organisations to become host organisations and make a positive contribution to the local community. We’re asking potential host employers to ‘think outside the box’ and provide suitable day to day tasks for job seekers to complete.”
“By hosting a WFD placement you will be providing activities that develop real skills that employers need. It’s like having an extra set of hands to complete tasks that you would not normally be able to undertake,” Ms Gostelow said.
Ms Gostelow said there are many activities that job seekers could potentially do including gardening or maintenance works, retail work, rehabilitation of public parks, office administration or warehouse duties.
Job seekers participating in the WFD program would be provided with any inductions, on-the-job-training and supervision to ensure all work, health and safety requirements were met.
From 1 June, Ms Gostelow said BUSY would be also working with jobactive (formerly Job Services Australia) to identify potential job seekers to commence the program and to match job seekers to activities.
Kristy was keen to acknowledge the previous WFD projects conducted through NEATO (Northern Employment Training Organisation) who had great success with providing work experience opportunities for around 60 job seekers in a furniture restoration project for Lifeline Mackay.
Furniture in the form of old timber bed frames, dining suites, bed side tables and chests of drawers was restored by job seekers under the WFD program. The items were then offered for sale in Lifeline stores or donated back to the needy in the community. The funds raised support Lifeline’s suicide prevention program as well as welfare and counselling programs.
Projects Manager for NEATO Employment Services, Steve Fraser said the Lifeline WFD program was a great example of what could be achieved when community organisations worked together with Job Service providers.
“Job seekers working on this project not only gained valuable experience in a real workshop environment but also improved their confidence and self-esteem as well as work ethics and time management skills. Many of these job seekers are now successfully employed,” Mr Fraser said.
BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY At Work was pleased to take on board the Work for the Dole Coordinator’s contract in Mackay.
“We are really pleased to take on this role which will enhance communities and provide real job prospects for many of the long-term unemployed job seekers. For local organisations it’s about getting projects accomplished that would otherwise not have been completed and improving the work readiness of job seekers, therefore benefitting the community as a whole,” Mr Miles said.
If your organisation would like to offer a Work for the Dole place you should contact BUSY At Work’s, Work for the Dole coordinator to discuss the opportunity. To find out more call BUSY At Work 13 BUSY (13 28 79)
Image Caption: left to right: Craige Johnson, Payge Leembrugger and Cameron Kent with WFD Supervisor Steve Gill.
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